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Full text of "Fort Union coal regional environmental impact statement : final"

FORT UNION 
GOAL REGION 



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U.S. Department of the Interior 
Bureau of Land Management 

February 1 983 



BLM-MT-ES-83-007-41 12 



4 



As the Nation's principal conservation agency, the Department of 
the Interior has responsibility for most of our nationally owned 
public lands and natural resources. This includes fostering the 
wisest use of our land and water resources, protecting our fish and 
wildlife, preserving the environmental and cultural values of our 
national parks and historical places, and providing for the enjoy- 
ment of life through outdoor recreation. The Department 
assesses our energy and mineral resources and works to assure 
that their development is in the best interests of all our people. The 
Department also has a major responsibility for American Indian 
reservation communities and for people who live in Island Territo- 
ries under G.S. administration. 



ERRATA m 

Page 1-2, column 1, Federal Recoverable Reserves, Mf 

Truax tract should read 28.2 million tons. P 



Historical mining cover photo courtesy of Mrs. Bess Stevens and the Nokota Company. 



\%ol 



IN REPLY REFER TO: 




United States Department of the Intenor 

BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT 
222 North 32nd Street 
P.O. Box 30157 
Billings, Montana 59107 






Dear Reader: 



BUI Library - 
D-553A, Building 50 
Denver Federal Center 

p O. Bo*2&0* 7 
Denver* CO aw*- 

Two separate documents have been incorporated into the Final Fort Union Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). 
The Draft EIS was issued in July 1 982. The Air Quality Informational Supplement to the Draft EIS was issued in 
September 1 982. Both of these documents are incorporated by reference in this Final EIS, and both should be used 
in conjunction with this document. 

The public review process did not result in changes requiring a major rewrite of either of the two documents. By 
incorporating them by reference, substantial cost savings are achieved. 

In this Final EIS, all material in reference to air quality which had been included in the Draft EIS has been deleted. It is 
replaced by the Air Quality Supplement. All modifications, corrections, and responses in regard to air quality in this 
Final EIS pertain to the Air Quality Supplement. 

The Draft EIS describes a proposed joint federal and state coal leasing program for the Fort Union Coal Region to be 
initiated on July 28,1983. The document analyzes six alternative levels of leasing, including a No Leasing or 
Production Maintenance/By-Pass Leasing and a Regional Coal Team (RCT) preferred alternative. The modifications 
and corrections to the Draft EIS and the Air Quality Supplement are in this final statement. Public comments received 
on the Draft EIS and Air Quality Supplement at public hearings and by letter are also included, along with the Bureau 
of Land Management's (BLM's) responses to those comments. 

A limited number of copies of the Draft EIS and the Air Quality Supplement are available at the following locations: 

Bureau of Land Management 
Montana State Office 
P.O. Box 30157 
Billings, Montana 59107 

Bureau of Land Management 
Dickinson District Office 
P.O. Box 1229 
Dickinson, North Dakota 58601 

Bureau of Land Management 
Miles City District Office 
P.O. Box 940 
Miles City, Montana 59301 

No final decision on leasing federal coal can be made until at least 30 days after the Final EIS is filed with the 
Environmental Protection Agency. Upon completion, filing, and release of this Final EIS, the RCT will recommend 
specific tracts for a lease sale and a lease sale schedule to be submitted to the Director of BLM. The Director will 
submit the Final EIS, the RCTs proposed lease sale schedule, and his recommendations for a leasing decision to the 
Secretary of the Interior. The Secretary, in consultation with the Governor of each affected state, surface management 
agencies, Indian tribes, and the Attorney General, as set forth in the Coal Management Regulations, 43CFR 3420.4, 
shall make a final decision on federal coal leasing. If the Secretary's decision is to lease the federal coal, he shall 
further determine the leasing level and adopt a final lease sale schedule. 

We would like to thank the individuals and organizations whose comments and suggestions have helped us to 
prepare this final statement which will lead to more effective management of the public lands. Their interest is 
appreciated. 






Sincerely yours. 




Michael J. Penfold 
State Director 



■ 



> 



United States Department of the Interior 
Bureau of Land Management 



♦ * 



FINAL 

Fort Union Coal Regional 
Environmental Impact Statement 



February 1983 

(to be used with the Draft EIS and Air Quality 
Information Supplemental) 



Prepared by 

Bureau of Land Management 

Montana State Office 

Billings, Montana 







ctatc r\iotr/TV\n> •• 




STATE DIRECTOR 



- 



FORT UNION COAL REGION 
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT 

( ) Draft (X) Final 

Lead Agency 

U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management 

Types of Action 

1. Administrative (X) Legislative ( ) 

2. Abstract 

This statement assesses the environmental consequences of six alternative levels of coal development, plus dis- 
cussions of developing the Woodson PRLA and the Meridian Exchange Proposal. The alternatives range from 
leasing 203.2 million tons of federal coal (7 tracts) to leasing 1 ,803.2 million tons of federal coal (20 tracts). The 
statement analyzes the impacts that would occur in Custer, Dawson, Fallon, Garfield, McCone, Prairie, Richland, 
Roosevelt, Valley, and Wibaux counties in Montana and Burleigh, Dunn, Golden Valley, McKenzie, McLean, 
Mercer, Oliver, and Stark counties in North Dakota as a result of coal leasing and development associated with 
the alternatives. 

3. The six alternatives and their analyses were present for public review in the Draft Environmental Impact State- 
ment(EIS) issued in July 1 982 and a supplemental report on air quality issued in September 1 982. These docu- 
ments are hereby incorporated into this Final EIS. The location of the Final E1S study area is shown on Map 1 in 
the map packet of the Draft EIS. 

4. For further information regarding this statement or proposed alternative action contact: 

Lloyd Emmons 

Project Manager, Fort Union Coal Project 

Bureau of Land Management 

222 North 32nd Street 

P.O. Box 30157 

Billings, Montana 59107 

(406) 657-6291 



SUMMARY 



This Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) here- 
by incorporates the Draft EIS and the Air Quality Infor- 
mation Supplemental documents which discuss the 
proposed leasing of 7 production maintenance/by- 
pass and 17 new production coal tracts in eastern 
Montana and west-central North Dakota. These tracts 
involve the leasing of federal coal administered by the 
Bureau of Land Management to meet the leasing target 
of .8 to 1 .2 billion tons of federal coal established by the 
Secretary of the Interior. 

The Regional Coal Team (RCT) formulated six alterna- 
tives, with the seven production maintenance/by-pass 
tracts being the first alternative. This alternative is 
included in each of the five remaining alternatives. The 
Woodson PRLA and the Meridian Exchange Proposal 
are also discussed in conjunction with Alternative 3. 
These alternatives are analyzed with emphasis on the 
significant issues and impacts. Site Specific Analyses 
(SSAs) and Preliminary Facility Evaluation Reports 
(PFERs) were prepared for each tract and served as the 
basis for tract ranking and alternative formulation by 
the RCT. 

Alternative 1 , leasing 203.2 million tons of new federal 
coal, would consist of seven production maintenance/ 
by-pass tracts. No new mines or facilities are associated 
with these tracts. The Prevention of Significant Deterio- 
ration (PSD) Class I increment is considered to be 
consumed at the present. There are no major changes 
expected from the continued mining by existing opera- 
tors for water, agriculture, land use, economic and 
social conditions, and recreation. Cultural sites in the 
Glenharold tract have regional significance and may 
require special attention. Wildlife habitat would be 
decreased. Alternative 1 would not significantly change 
the impacts associated with this alternative since min- 
ing would continue at existing operations. 

Alternative 2, leasing 51 0.4 million tons of new federal 
coal, is also expected to show that the PSD Class I 
increment is consumed as it will be in the rest of the 
alternatives. The Dunn Center tract may be reduced to 
protect the Spring Creek alluvial valley floor and the 
groundwater supply. Dickinson, North Dakota will need 
additional community supply and storage. Individual 
agricultural operators may be severely impacted. Crop 
losses for the region will be less than one percent. 
Wildlife impacts become more severe as more coal 
acreage is mined. The Knife River Flint Quarries asso- 
ciated with the Dunn Center tract contain important 
and irreplaceable cultural information. Outdoor recrea- 



tion demand would increase commensurate with popu- 
lation increase in all alternatives. Significant population 
influxes would cause inflationary pressures and cause 
fiscal problems with specific communities. Impacts to 
the social organization would be substantial, perma- 
nent, and intensive. 

Alternative 3, leasing 790.2 million tons of new federal 
coal, would provide stress on transportation routes in 
North Dakota, add Fort Peck Reservoir as a water 
source, and cause additional economic impacts to 
specific communities in addition to those discussed in 
previous alternatives. Rapid development-related popu- 
lation increases could result in severe public service 
funding problems, accelerated impacts to the social 
organization, and hamper the ability of the communi- 
ties to respond. 

Alternative 4, leasing 822.4 million tons of new federal 
coal, would also have the impacts of previous alterna- 
tives. In addition, the Zenith tract could cause degrada- 
tion of surface and subsurface water along the Heart 
River. Patterson Lake water quality will also be 
degraded. Economic and social impacts would be sim- 
ilar to previous alternatives except that the makeup of 
the individual communities affected would vary. 

Alternative 5, leasing 1,031.6 million tons of new fed- 
eral coal, would result in the decreased quality of runoff 
in the Redwater River. Impacts similar to previous alter- 
natives would also occur. 

Alternative 6, leasing 1 ,600.0 million tons of new fed- 
eral coal, could force Circle, Montana to change their 
source of municipal water supply. The Redwater I tract 
would further impact the Redwater River valley. The 
impacts discussed in previous alternatives would also 
occur in this alternative. 

The Woodson PRLA would provide for a slight increase 
in social and economic impacts over those of Alterna- 
tive 3. The Meridian Exchange Proposal may force 
Circle, Montana to switch sources for its municipal 
water supply. Depending on the size of the conversion 
facility, the variation in the social and economic 
impacts would be lower or higher than those of Alterna- 
tive 3. 

The RCT Preferred Alternative was Alternative 3 modi- 
fied by removing the Central Bloomfield tract and sub- 
stituting the Bloomfield tract and dropping the Burns 
Creek tract. This alternative would make 790.2 million 
tons of new federal coal available and would have 
impacts as described for Alternative 3. 



CONTENTS 



Introduction i 

Part I — Modifications and Corrections 1-1 

Part II — Public Comments 2-1 

Part III — Responses to Public Comments 3-1 



INTRODUCTION 



This Ft. Gnion Coal Region Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) incorporates by reference the Draft EIS 
which was published in July, 1982, and the Air Quality Information Supplemental to the Draft EIS which was 
published in September 1982, as modified and corrected by Part I of this document. Part II of this final document 
contains a transcript of the public hearings and letters of comment received from the public on the Draft EIS and the 
Air Quality Supplement. Part III contains BLM's responses to these comments. 

The Draft EIS was filed with the Environmental Protection Agency and released to the public on August 2, 1 982. The 
Federal Register of August 6, 1 982, carried a notice of availability and announced public meetings to provide 
information and answer questions on the Draft EIS at Bismarck and Hazen, North Dakota, on August 24, 1 982; Circle, 
Montana, on August 31, 1982; and Wibaux, Montana, on September 1, 1982. The Federal Register notice also 
announced public hearings on September 28 and 29, 1982 at Beulah, North Dakota and Glendive, Montana 
respectively, and that written comment on the Draft EIS would be accepted through October 8, 1 982. The Air Quality 
Supplement was released to the public on September 1 6, 1 982, and was filed with the Environmental Protection 
Agency on September 24, 1982. The Federal Register of September 30, 1982 carried a notice of availability and 
extended the public review period from October 8, 1 982 through October 1 9, 1 982. Copies of the Draft EIS and the 
Air Quality Supplement were sent to organizations, industry, and individuals on the Ft. Gnion mailing list. Approxi- 
mately 1,100 copies of these documents were distributed. Public reading copies were available at BLM offices in 
Washington, D.C.; Billings, and Miles City, Montana; Dickinson, North Dakota; and at public libraries throughout the 
region. 

Copies of the Final EIS will be forwarded to the Secretary of the Interior and to the Environmental Protection Agency. 
Copies will also be mailed to all official review agencies, organizations, industry, individuals on the Ft. Gnion mailing 
list, and public libraries within the Ft. Gnion region. Copies will also be available upon request at the BLM offices in 
Billings and Miles City, Montana, and Dickinson, North Dakota. 



PARTI 
Modifications and Corrections 



INTRODUCTION 



This section of the Final EIS contains all the modifications and corrections to the Draft EIS and the Air Quality 
Supplement. Included herein are all map corrections and changes in figures and tables. This section also contains 
any modifications or corrections made due to changes in policy or guidance. There are also a number of 
modifications, corrections, and clarifications included in this section that were made in response to the public 
comments that were received. 



MODIFICATIONS AND CORRECTIONS 



DRAFT EIS 

Summary 

Page ii, column 2, paragraph 4, change, "in the Red- 
water II tract completely destroying a portion of the 
Redwater River valley." to, "in the decreased quality of 
runoff in the Redwater River." 



Introduction 

Page 2, column 1 , paragraph 2, last sentence, change 
to, "Site Specific Analysis (SSAs) were completed on all 
24 tracts in June 1981 and made available for public 
review." 

Page 7, column 1 , paragraph 1 , last sentence is deleted. 

Page 7, column 2, paragraph 1 under Cultural Fea- 
tures, third line, delete "is proposed as a National Regis- 
ter District and". 

Page 7, column 2, last paragraph, lines 2 and 4, change 
"two" to "three." 

Page 1 1 , both maps, add surface owner nonconsentto 
all of Section 4, R20M, R53E, and delete from tract 

Page 1 1 , both maps, delete the EVi, Section 6 and the 
NteNWtf, NWMNEM, Section 18.T20M, R53E as these 
areas were found to be unsuitable for surface mining. 

Page 12. The Burns Creek tract was deleted from the 
1 983 coal lease sale. 

Page 1 3, both maps, add surface owner nonconsent to 
all of Section 4, T20N, R53E, and delete from tract; 
delete the E'/ 2 , Section 6, and the N teNWVi, NWViNEM, 
Section 18, T20N, R53E as these areas were found to 
be unsuitable for surface mining. 

Page 17, Surface Ownership map, remove surface 
owner nonconsent from the SE'/i, Section 26, T15N, 
R60E, Wibaux County, Montana. 

Page 17, both maps, delete floodplain areas in 
NteNVfcNEM, Section 18, and EteEVfeNEVi, Section 20, 
T 1 4 1 N, R 1 05 W. These areas were found to be unsuita- 
ble for surface mining. 

Page 19, Surface Ownership map, reverse color in 
legend for State and private surface. 

Page 20, Surface Ownership map, remove surface 



owner nonconsent from lot 1, Section 22, T139N, 
R106W, Golden Valley County, Morth Dakota, and lots 
1 , 2, 3 and 4, Section 30, Tl 3N, R61 E, Wibaux County, 
Montana. 

Page 21 , both maps, delete the NWViNEtf, NEWNWtt, 
Section 22, Tl 6N, R53W. These areas were found to be 
unsuitable for surface mining. 

Page 24, Surface Ownership map, change the SEVa, 
Section 11, T144N, R94W, from federal to private 
ownership. 

Page 30, both maps, delete W'^SWViNWtt, W2W/2SWA, 
Section 14, and NWViNEMNEM, SttNEttNEM, 
SEMNEM, Section 26, T143N, R88W. These areas 
were found to be unsuitable for surface mining. 

Page 34, both maps, delete NEMSEMNWtt, Section 8, 
T139N, R98W, and SteSteSteSEM, Section 2, and 
NEttNEtt, Section 12, T139N, R99W. These areas 
were found to be unsuitable for surface mining. 

Page 35, Surface Ownership map, state coal in Section 
16.T20N, R56E, is leased. 

Chapter 1 

Some of the tract boundaries have changed due to 
unsuitability criteria application, refusals to consent, 
and reassessment of the tracts. Gnsuitability determina- 
tion is made during the land use planning process. The 
application of the unsuitability criteria has been com- 
pleted for the Redwater, West-Central, and Golden Val- 
ley Management Framework Plans. The results of these 
applications were published and received a public 
review and comment period. The final determinations 
of the application of the unsuitability criteria are avail- 
able from the Miles City and Dickinson District Offices. 

The Burns Creek tract has been dropped from all alter- 
natives. The unsuitability studies could not be com- 
pleted since access to the tract was denied. The incom- 
plete studies made it impossible to apply the 
unsuitability criteria, so the tract has been dropped 
from lease consideration at this time. 

Removing the Bums Creek tract from the alternatives 



1-1 



would reduce the available federal recoverable reserves 
by 31 .0 million tons; however this reduction would not 
substantially affect the leasing target. 

Although Burns Creek has been removed from the 
federal leasing consideration, this would not preclude 
the area from being developed since one company has 
a large block of private coal already under lease. The 
analyses in the Draft EIS would be similar if the area is 
developed without further federal leasing. If the area is 
not developed in the future, the impacts in each alterna- 
tive where Burns Creek was included would decrease. 

As stated in the Preferred Alternative of the Draft EIS, 
the Central Bloomfield tract could no longer be consid- 
ered logically minable because of a refusal to consent. 
Since the Central Bloomfield tract was a major part of 
the Bloomfield tract, the Bloomfield tract was reduced 
by 38 million tons of federal coal. The reduction has 
made the Bloomfield tract more suitable for electric 
power generation. The Bloomfield tract has replaced 
Central Bloomfield in Alternative 3 and the Preferred 
Alternative. Where the Bloomfield tract has been used 
in the other alternatives, it would be considered a power 
plant-size tract. An evaluation of this change deter- 
mined that the change was not significant enough to 
reanalyze each of the alternatives. 

The tabulation below shows the federal recoverable 
coal tonnages that will be available for those tracts that 
have been altered. 

Federal Recoverable Reserves 
Tract Millions of Tons 



Southwest Glendive 

Bloomfield 

Zenith 

Truax 



172.2 
97.9 

130.1 
38.2 



These changes would result in the following new pro- 
duction totals and leasing target for each alternative. 
These new production figures should replace the fig- 
ures used throughout Chapter 1 in the Draft EIS, both in 
the text as well as the tables and figures. 



Alternative 


Tons x 1 6 


Millions of Tc 


1 


0.0 


203.2* 


2 


510.4 


713.6 


3 


790.2 


993.4 


4 


822.4 


1,025.6 


5 


1,031.6 


1,234.8 


6 


1,600.0 


1,803.2 



•Represents production maintenance/by-pass tonnages and 
not included in the leasing target or new production tonnage. 

Page 48, column 2, paragraph 2, next to last line should 
read "... Redwater II would be covered . . ." 

Page 49, Table 1 -2, change "Existing Total" to "By-Pass 
Total". 



Page 52, Table 1 -5, change the anticipated dates for the 
construction of the facility for the Dunn Center tract 
from " 1 989" to " 1 985", and for the Garrison tract from 
"1992" to "1988". 

Pages 52 through 6 1 , Tables 1 -5 through 1-11, change 
"Existing and Mew Production Total" to "By-Pass and 
New Production Total". 

Pages 52 through 61, Tables 1-5 through 1-11, change 
Garrison Tract as follows: 

1 . Annual production from "5.7" to "2.8" million tons 
per year. 

2. Mine facility acreage from "240" to " 1 60". 

3. Facility non-potable water from " 1 2" to "6" million 
gallons per day. 

4. Anticipated date of facility operation from " 1 992" 
to "1991". 

Reduce Totals as follows: 

1. Annual production by "2.9" million tons per year. 

2. Mine facility acreage by "80" acres. 

3. Facility non-potable water by "6" million gallons 
per day. 

Page 59, Table 1-10, bottom half, interchange South 
Wibaux-Beach and Circle West III. 

Page 62, Table 1-12, add "Source: Meridian Land and 
Mineral Company". 

Page 65, Figure 1-10, legend, change to "Range of 
Impacted Wells". 

Page 67, Figure 1-12, change title to "Vegetation Types 
(Acres)". 

Chapter 2 

Air Quality 

Pages 75 through 85 of the Draft EIS. All material on Air 
Quality is deleted and replaced with material in Chapter 
2 of the Air Quality Information Supplement. 

Water 

Page 85, column 2, add the following paragraph after 
the last paragraph of the Hydrology section. 

"Recharge for the shallow lignite and sand aquifer sys- 
tem comes from local precipitation during very wet 
periods and seepage from lakes, potholes and sloughs 
located in upland positions. When this seepage reaches 
a lignite or sand lense its flow becomes horizontal with 
very little seepage continuing downward (Groenewold, 
1979, Horack, unpub. and Houghton, unpub.). Dis- 
charge from this system is through wells, springs, and 
into alluvial and glacial channels. Recharge to the alluv- 
ial and glacial channels is received from intersecting 
lignite and sand aquifers and seepage from the stream 
channel during high flow periods. Available data has 
identified some areas where the shallow lignite or sand 
and alluvial or glacial channel systems are hydrologi- 



1-2 



cally connected, but in most of the new production tract 
areas there is not enough data to quantify the recharge 
and discharge sources." 

Agriculture 

Page 89, column 2, paragraph 1 , line 1 , change "Three 
hundred and eleven . . ." to "Two hundred . . ." 

Wildlife 

Page 91 , column 1 , caption under picture should read 
"Mule deer in eastern Montana." 

Cultural Features 

Page 93, Table 29, in Garrison tract under Stone Circle 
add the number 1. 

Chapter 3 

Air Quality 

Pages 99 through 103. All material on Air Quality is 
deleted and replaced with material in Chapter 3 of the 
Air Quality Supplement. 

Water 

Page 1 03, column 2, under first paragraph of Water, 
insert the following: "Water withdrawal and convey- 
ance facilities designed to carry municipal water would 
require a water service contract from the U.S. Army 
Corp of Engineers. Industrial water facilities would 
require a water service contract from the Bureau of 
Reclamation. 

Page 1 05, column 2, after paragraph on water, add, "To 
summarize, disruption of ephemeral streams in the 
vicinity of a mine site would be temporary. Drawdown of 
groundwater levels would also be temporary. Degrada- 
tion of the shallow ground water quality would be long 
term." 

Page 105, column 1, paragraph 1 , line 6, the sentence 
beginning with "The state of Montana" to the end of the 
paragraph is changed to the following: 

"The state of Montana (Water Reservations and Current 
Water Availability in the Yellowstone River Basin, 1 982) 
has identified the mean annual availability of 2,055,500 
acre-feet of water from the Yellowstone River at Sidney, 
Montana. This water is available in addition to the esti- 
mated future needs of Montana, Wyoming, and Indian 
users. The Bureau of Reclamation estimates that 
243,000 acre-feet could be made available annually out 
of Yellowtail dam without affecting existing or likely 
future uses." 

Page 105, column 1, last paragraph, last sentence is 
deleted. 

Page 1 05, column 2, paragraph 1 , add the following 
sentence to this paragraph. "Currently the North 
Dakota State Health Department allows disposal of fly 
ash wastes only in lined pits designed specifically to 
prevent any effect on ground water." 



Page 105, column 2, paragraph 2, add immediately 
following paragraph, "The Dunn-Nokota methanol pro- 
ject would produce no waste materials which are pres- 
ently classified as hazardous by EPA." 

Page 1 05, column 2, paragraph 4,change "There is no 
practical way . . ." to "It is not economically feasible . . ." 

Page 1 07, column 1 , paragraph 2, sentence 1 , change, 
"completely destroy a portion of the Redwater River 
valley" to "decrease the quality of the runoff in the 
Redwater River." 

Wildlife 

Page 1 24, column 1 , paragraph 5, sentence 1 , delete 
the entire sentence. 

Page 127, column 2, last paragraph, sentence 2, add 
"short-term" to the beginning of sentence. 

Cultural Features 

Page 129, insert following paragraph 1 at end of Alter- 
native 2: 

Application of the cultural resource unsuitability crite- 
rion has demonstrated that the most critical conflict 
between coal leasing and archeological sites would be 
restricted to two sections (Sections 32 and 34, T145N, 
R93W) which are part of both the National Register of 
Historic Places eligible Knife River Flint Quarry National 
Historic District and a logical mining unit. Whether 
these two sections should be found unsuitable for min- 
ing has not been decided. 

If the two sections are not leased for coal mining, the 
entire heart of the Knife River Flint Quarry area would 
be protected in a federal coal lease decision. In this case 
only outlying sites would be impacted and it is expected 
that those values could be successfully mitigated 
through data recovery. 

If the other alternative occurs and the two sections are 
leased, 1 sites covering 50 percent of Section 32 and 6 
sites covering 30 percent of Section 34 could be 
impacted by coal mining. This would cause a signifi- 
cant impact to the information contained in the 
National Register eligible district. It is uncertain whether 
these impacts could be successfully mitigated through 
avoidance of specific sites or data collection. The pre- 
viously discussed memorandum of understanding 
process would have to occur to assess the possibility of 
a successful mitigation plan. 

Other Land Uses and Values 

Page 1 30, column 2, paragraph 4, sentence 3, change 
the reference to Major Facility Siting Act in "North 
Dakota" to "Montana." 

Page 131, column 2, sentence 2 under Alternative 3 
should read, "If it is assumed that 60 percent of the 
work force for Dunn Center and Werner tract would 
pass through Dickinson for access to State Route 22, 
this would imply stress for this highway." 



1-3 



Page 152 at the end of column 1, add the following: 

Short Term Usage and Impacts Versus Long 
Term Effects 

Short-term impacts to water resources would continue 
throughout the life of project. The hydrologic balance 
would be disrupted in the vicinity of a mine and its 
associated facility. Ephemeral surface water in the 
immediate vicinity of the development would expe- 
rience small changes in flow, sediment loads, and dis- 
solved chemical concentrations. Within a mile or so of 
the mines, groundwater levels would be lowered and 
quality would be degraded as the shallow lignite aquifer 
is removed. Following reclamation of the area, surface 
water conditions would return to approximate pre-mine 
productivity; however, there would be a long-term 
impact to the shallow vein spoil aquifer system which 
may remain degraded indefinitely. Another long-term 
impact would be the increased expense to the land 
owner to operate and maintain the deeper replacement 
wells. 

For analysis purposes, successful reclamation to pre- 
mining levels of agricultural productivity was assumed. 
All the impacts discussed were quantified over the 
short-term— the time required to meet bonding 
requirements. No residual long-term agricultural 
impacts were projected. There would be very few short- 
term impacts on cultural resources, for the destruction 
of any cultural resource with or without adequate mit- 
igation is a long-term negative impact, no matter how 
complete all of the information from an archeological 
site. However, in many cases these losses are accepted 
for valid reasons. 

Changes in land use due to coal mining would be 
short-term for the land would revert to its pre-mining 
use after reclamation. Changes in land use due to 
facility development would be long-term since the facili- 
ties are scheduled for a 30-50 year mine life. New roads, 
transmission lines, railroad spurs, etc., can be consid- 
ered long-term since they would be used as long as the 
mine is in operation. Changes in the existing communi- 
ties may be considered long-term for although the 
commitment of land to a specific use does not preclude 
another use, an investment in residential, commercial, 
or other facilities makes the change costly. 

Changes in the visual quality of the region would be 
long-term because the mines are programmed for a 
30-50 year life span. The facilities would be highly vis- 
ible and would add an industrial "look" to the area. 

The aesthetic effect of specific areas would be short- 
term due to the reclamation which would occur. How- 
ever, the entire area would look disturbed as long as 
mining takes place. 

Depending upon the amount of funding available, the 
impacts to outdoor recreational facilities could be 
short-term or long-term. Certainly the available facilities 



would be more crowded. Hunting and fishing areas 
would receive more pressure, and there would be an 
increase in landowner/hunter problems. As monies 
become available to enlarge existing facilities or pro- 
vide new ones, this problem should gradually decrease 
in significance. 

The great majority of the economic impacts from Ft. 
Onion coal development result from population in- 
migration due to short-term, construction-phase 
related employment opportunities. As the graphics in 
appendices G and H show, this short-term period, in 
most cases 3-6 years, contains the preponderance of 
population, employment, and fiscal impacts due to the 
labor intensive nature of the construction phase. There 
would be greatly increased business and employment 
opportunities during the short run, along with adverse 
impacts associated with large increases in population 
and coincident impact on public services. This general 
phenomena would be a question of degree among 
alternatives 2-6. The overall level of beneficial and 
adverse impacts would increase from alternative 2 to 
alternative 6. 

During the long-term operations period (approximately 
40 years), economic changes would be much more 
stable since employment and population levels would 
not change significantly. Those people employed as 
part of the operations work force would benefit from 
long-term employment opportunities as would busi- 
nesses which provide goods and services to the plants 
and workers. Depending on the circumstances, some 
communities could experience long-term impacts on 
their public services, while others would be successful 
in mitigating or avoiding these impacts altogether. 
Those communities which are nearby the mine plant 
site and which have a relatively large range of public 
and private services to offer would be the towns which 
would experience the greatest economic and social 
impacts as both construction and operations workers 
would relocate to these communities in response to 
nearby employment opportunities. 

In the social analysis, short-term refers to the construc- 
tion phase while long-term refers to the operations 
phase of development. The social assessment is based 
primarily upon the population increases that occur as a 
result of the development. The short-term period, in 
most cases 3-6 years, contains the majority of the popu- 
lation increases. Generally, short-term impacts include 
changes in both community social organization and 
social well-being increases as the service availability 
catches up with population growth. Changes in 
bility catches up with population growth. Changes in 
community organization are permanent and extend 
into the long-term. Overall impacts increase in magni- 
tude from alternative 2 to 6 in both the short and 
long-term. 

Initial attitudes toward development may be modified 
as the project proceeds through the short and long- 
term phases. These modifications would depend upon 



1-4 



the severity of the impacts to the community and 
whether or not the individual benefitted from the devel- 
opment. 

In the preferred alternative, about three billion tons of 
coal would be mined in the next 40 years. Of this total, a 
little over 990 million tons would be federal coal. 
Approximately 200 million tons of the federal coal 
would be mined by existing mining operation, while the 
remaining would be used to support new mines. If no 
leasing occurs, the coal in the tracts near existing mines 
in by-pass tracts would eventually be by-passed and 
would not be mined. 

Irreversible, Irretrievable Commitment of 
Resources 

The only irretrievable loss to the hydrologic system 
would be the shallow aquifer system which would be 
disrupted by mine development. This system would 
remain disrupted for an indefinite period and may never 
be restored. 

Mo irreversible or irretrievable impacts to agricultural 
productivity would be expected, given successful rec- 
lamation to meet bonding requirements. 

Once cultural resources have been destroyed, they can 
never be replaced and are an irretrievable loss. In the 
case of the extensive and complex sites associated with 
flint quarrying on the Dunn Center tract and the sites in 
the Missouri River Breaks on the Glenharold tract, it 
may never be possible to recover enough information 
to make destruction of these cultural resources an 
acceptable alternative. 

Transmission lines, pipelines, facility development, rail- 
road spurs, and new roads may be an irretrievable 
commitment of land. Land used for new businesses, 
service facilities, and homes for the expected influx of 
workers can be considered an irretrievable commit- 
ment of the land resource since it is highly unlikely the 
land would be restored to its former use. Materials used 
to construct the various facilities and homes may be 
considered an irretrievable commitment of resources. 

From an aesthetic standpoint there would be no irre- 
trievable commitment of land form since the mined 
land would be restored to its original form. If the facili- 
ties and their attendant roads, power lines, and railroad 
spurs are not dismantled after the coal is consumed, 
there would be a permanent, negative effect on the 
aesthetics and visual quality of the area. 

There should be no irretrievable loss of recreation 
opportunities and resources, and they may even be 
enhanced if new facilities are built to accommodate the 
large influx of workers. Hunting and fishing would 
receive a negative impact since more people would be 
competing for limited resources; however, this should 
revert to normal when the life of the mines and facilities 
are completed. 



The construction of the mines and facilities associated 
with the various alternatives would require significant, 
but at this time unquantifiable, amounts of construction 
material. For the most part, these items would be irre- 
trievably committed to the process. Wood, steel, 
copper, aluminum, plastic, and concrete would be the 
items used most extensively in the construction of 
mines, electric power plants, and other coal conversion 
facilities. Salvage would be possible at plant phaseout 
for some of these items. The liquid fossil fuels used for 
haulage and the onsite electric power consumption 
would be irretrievably committed as well. In addition, 
increased energy development in this area would result 
in irretrievably committed financial resources, capital, 
labor, services, and materials utilized in the provision of 
public services to meet the increased needs of a new 
development-related population which would migrate 
to the region. 

The communities impacted in alternatives 2 through 6, 
that had not undergone previous development, would 
experience permanent changes in their social organi- 
zation due to population increases. These impacts 
would result in an irretrievable loss of the agriculturally 
oriented, close-knit, slow paced, informal, small town 
atmospheres currently found in these communities. 
The number of communities that would be affected 
increases from alternative 2 to alternative 6. In addition, 
during the construction stage, impacted communities 
would experience temporary but irretrievable losses in 
social well being due to the impact of large population 
increases on public and private services. In a small 
number of cases, growth would be so rapid and sub- 
stantial that permanent changes in social well being 
might occur. This would be most likely to occur in 
Alternative 6. The attitudes of those local people who 
wish to retain the rural, agricultural orientation of their 
communities and the surrounding countryside may be 
irreversibly opposed to the development. 

Chapter 4 

No modifications or corrections. 

Chapter 5 

Mo modifications or corrections. 

Appendices 

Appendix A 

Page A-3, add to end of Appendix: 



Clean Water 


Section 404; 33 


Regulates the 


Such activities 


Act of 1977 


CISC 1344 


discharge of 


require permits 






dredged or fill 


or are 






material into 


authorized 






the Nation's 


under 






waterways, 


Nationwide 






lakes, and 


permit. 






wetlands. 





1-5 



River and 


Section 10; 33 


Prohibits the 


The construc- 


Harbor Act of 


USC 403 


unauthorized 


tion of any 


1899 




obstruction or 


structure, exca- 






alteration of the 


vation or depo- 






U.S. navigable 


sition of any 






waters. 


material, or any 
other works 
affecting navi- 
gable water is 
unlawful unless 
authorized by 
Secretary of 
Army. 



Appendix B 

Page A-4, add the following after the second paragraph 
in column 3: "requires an environmental impact 
statement for major state actions which have the poten- 
tial to significantly affect the human environment." 

The following additions or corrections should be made 
to the codification of the Montana State Legislation: 

1 . Montana Department of State Lands 

State Antiquities Act, Section 22-3-401 , et. seq. MCA 

2. Board of Land Commissioners 

Section 22-3-424, MCA 
Section 77-3-102, MCA 
Add: Section 77-2-102, 103, MCA 

Authorizes Board to grant easements for siting struc- 
tures, roads, etc. on state lands that may be associated 
with energy development. 

The North Dakota Land Development should read, 
"North Dakota Land Department." 

Pages A- 7 through All. All material on Air Quality is 
deleted and replaced with material in Appendices of the 
Air Quality Supplement. 

Appendix I 

Page A-25, column 1 , first paragraph, add the following: 
"This section is designed to provide the reader with an 
overview of the mitigation measures/processes in Mon- 
tana and North Dakota. Therefore, many of the details 
of the state impact assistance laws were not included. 
For more detailed information regarding the individual 
state regulations for impact assistance constraints and 
responsibilities contact would be made with the respec- 
tive state agency." 

Page A-26, add "Major Facility Siting Act" between the 
next to the last paragraph and the heading "Adequate 
Lead Time." 

Page A-29, delete the last paragraph of column 2. 

Page A-30, delete column 1. Delete column 2, para- 
graphs 1 and 2. 

Page A-31 , column 1 , paragraph 3, line 5, change "8.7" 
to "8.75." 

Page A-31, column 2, after the last paragraph add: 
"One Montana statute which could provide impact 
assistance to local governments is known as Tax Pre- 



payment for New Industrial Facilities ( 1 5-1 6-201 , MCA). 
By applying this law, a local government could require 
the owners of a new industrial facility (e.g., coal gasifica- 
tion plant, coal-fired electrical generation plant) to pre- 
pay the property taxes on the plant, thus providing 
"upfront" revenues which could be used to provide for 
the needed increase in local governmental services. 
Only the governmental taxing jurisdiction in which the 
industrial facility is to be located could require prepay- 
ment (e.g., county government). This statute does not 
apply to those jurisdictions which would be affected but 
would not have the plant located within their borders 
(e.g., city government, adjacent county government). 

MAJOR FACILITY SITING ACT 

The Montana Major Facility Siting Act (MFSA), enacted 
in 1 973, provides for comprehensive review of propos- 
als to construct and operate certain kinds of facilities for 
generating, converting or transmitting energy in Mon- 
tana. The Act covers: ( 1 ) facilities that can generate 50 
megawatts or more of electricity; (2) facilities that can 
produce 25 million cubic feet or more of gas per day; 
(3) facilities that can produce 25,000 barrels of liquid 
hydrocarbon products per day; (4) uranium enrich- 
ment facilities; (5) facilities that can use, refine or con- 
vert 500,000 tons of coal or more per year; (6) electric 
transmission lines greater than 69 kilovolts capacity, 
with certain exceptions for lines covering short distan- 
ces; (7) facilities for developing and using geothermal 
resources capable of producing 25 million Btu per hour 
or more; (8) facilities for in situ coal gasification; and 
(9) pipelines leading from or to a facility as defined 
above. Facilities under exclusive federal jurisdiction are 
exempt. Oil and natural gas facilities are also exempt. 

The Major Facility Siting Act has four provisions which 
are important for impact mitigation. First, the Act 
requires all parties planning to construct a facility (as 
degined by the Act) within the ensuing 1 years to file a 
long-range plan with the Department of Natural 
Resources and Conservation (DNRC). All proposed 
facilities must be adequately described in a long-range 
plan at least two years before DNRC may accept an 
application. The plans are submitted on April first of 
each year and any new plans are generally covered by 
the press. The plans thus serve to notify the public of 
any proposed facilities substantially in advance of when 
they will actually be constructed. 

Second, the Act requires that an application for a facility 
must be filed with the DNRC. The application must 
include a description of the proposed facility, with dis- 
cussion of alternative sites, an explanation of need for a 
utility facility, discussion of efforts to promote conserva- 
tion and reasonable alternative energy sources, and a 
filing fee, based on the estimated construction cost of 
the facility, to finance the state's evaluation. 

The DNRC has 90 days to determine whether an appli- 
cation is complete; that is, whether it contains the 



1-6 



information required by the law and associated rules. 
When the DNRC accepts the application as complete, it 
then has 22 months (in the case of generating plants) 
or 1 2 months (in the case of small transmission lines) 
to do an independent analysis, including preparation of 
an EIS under MEPA, holding public hearings, and pre- 
paring a final report to the Board of Natural Resources 
and Conservation (BNRC). 

In the meantime, the Department of Health and Envi- 
ronmental Sciences and the Board of Health have a 
year, plus an additional six months if applicable, to 
determine whether the project will comply with air and 
water quality standards, and other laws administered by 
the Department of Health and Board of Health. 

Note that this period of state evaluation contains oppor- 
tunity for working with the affected local communities 
to analyze impacts and suggest mitigation strategies. It 
also has a mandatory public hearing where the public 
can comment on DNRCs and the Department or 
Board of Health findings. 

The third provision of the Siting Act that provides 
opportunities for mitigation is the Board of Natural 
Resources and Conservation decision as to whether to 
issue a certificate for project construction. The Board is 
a seven-member citizen board, appointed by the Gov- 
ernor. A certificate may not be granted unless the 
Board finds and determines: (1) the nature of the 
probable environmental impact; (2) that the facility 
represents the minimum adverse environmental 
impact, considering the state of available technology 
and the economics of various alternatives; (3) that the 
facility is consistent with regional plans for expanding 
utility grids and will serve system economy and reliabil- 
ity; (4) that the facility's proposed location conforms to 
state and local laws and regulations; (5) that the Board 
of Health has certified that the facility will not violate air 
and water quality standards and implementation plans; 
and (6) for a utility application, that the facility serves the 
public interest, convenience and necessity. Need, 
environmental impact, benefits to the applicant and the 
state, effects of resulting economic activity, and effects 
on public health, safety and welfare must be considered 
in making these determinations. 

After receiving the DNRCs final report on the proposed 
project, the Board has 1 1 months to make its decision. 
As part of its decisionmaking process, it must hold 
public hearings under the Montana Administrative 
Procedures Act. These are contested case hearings 
involving attorneys, witnesses, and cross-examination. 
The affected local government must be a party to the 
proceedings or state why it will not be. The applicant, of 
course, participates. Citizen groups and industry 
groups usually participate also. The board must con- 
sider all the evidence and prepare Findings of Fact and 
Conclusions of Law. It has three options in granting the 
Certificate: ( 1 ) Deny a Certificate; (2) Issue a Certificate 
for the project as proposed by the applicant; or (3) Issue 
a Certificate for the project, but with conditions att- 



ached. It is this power to condition the Certificate that 
enables the Board to specify mitigation that the appli- 
cant must follow. Certificates may be revoked for failure 
to meet safety standards or failure to comply with any 
other conditions imposed by the Board. Unlike Mon- 
tana's mining laws, the Board is not restricted in the 
kinds of mitigation it can specify. Thus socioeconomic 
and cultural mitigation measures can be required. 

The fourth important provision of the Siting Act from 
the point of view of mitigation is the requirement that 
DNRC must monitor the construction and operation of 
the facility to ensure that the Board's conditions are 
being met. The applicant must pay for the monitoring 
program. If the Board finds that a condition is not being 
met, it can revoke the Certificate. This enforcement 
power has two benefits. First, it ensures that migitation 
efforts are carried out. Second, it provides information 
on whether the mitigation measures are succeeding or 
failing to solve the problems, whether the anticipated 
problems turned out to be real ones, or whether unan- 
ticipated problems developed. This information is valu- 
able for future impact assessments. 

Appendix K 

The following subfactors were used in making the rank- 
ing determinations. 

Coal Economics 

Coal Quantity and Availability 
Coal Conservation and Maintenance of Production 
Energy Production 

Likelihood of Leasing and Production 
Natural Environment 

Minerals other than Coal 

Air Qualtiy 

Water 

Wildlife 

Cultural Features 

Amenity Values 

Special Management Values 

Other Land Use and Transportation 

Reclamation Potential 

Social Economics 

Community Service Assessment 

Jobs 

Agricultural Values 

Agricultural Operations 

Lifestyle and Social Structure 

Public Attitudes 

Consistency with other Plans and Policies 

Land Owners 

Inflation 

References 

Water 

Page R-2, 16th reference listed under Water: 



1-7 



Remove the Bureau of Reclamation as a co-author with 
the Montana State Dept. of Natural Resources and 
Conservation of the document "Water Reservations 
and Current Water Availability in the Yellowstone River 
Basin." Change the publication date from 1981 to 
1982. 

Agriculture 

Page R-3, add the following references: 

Bridgeman, G.H., and R.L. Lang, 1976. Resistance of 
Desert Plants of Wyoming to Sulfur Dioxide Injury 
in American Phytopathological Society Proceed- 
ings. Vol. 3, p.225. 

Davis, C.R., et al. 1966. Sulfur Dioxide Fomigations of 
Range Grasses Native to South Eastern Arizona 
in Journal of Range Management, Vol. 19, pp. 
60-64. 

Ferenbaugh, R.W. 1978. Effects of Prolonged Expo- 
sure of Oryzosis Hymenoides to Sulfur Dioxide in 
Water, Air, and Soil Pollution. Vol. 10, pp. 27-31. 

Harrington, Neil. Montana Department of Natural 
Resources, personal communiction. November 
8, 1982. 

Heitschmidt, R.K., et al. 1978. Effect of Controlled Lev- 
els of Sulfur Dioxide on Western Wheatgrass in a 
South Eastern Montana Grassland in Journal of 
Applied Ecology. Vol. 14, pp. 859-868. 

Holmann, L, etal. 1981. Livestock and Vegetative Per- 
formance on Reclaimed and Nonmined Range- 
land in North Dakota in Journal of Soil and Water 
Conservation. Vol. 3, pp. 41-44. 

Lavenroth, W.K., et al. 1979. Sulfur Accumulation in 
Western Wheatgrass Exposed to Controlled Sul- 
fur Dioxide on Western Wheatgrass in a South 
Eastern Montana Grassland in Journal of App- 
lied Ecology. Vol. 14, pp. 859-868. 

Ludwick, J.D., et al. 1981. Air Quality Measurement in 
the Coal Fired Power Plant Environment of Col- 
strip, Montana in Atmospheric Environment. Vol. 
14, pp. 523-532. 

Milchunas, D.G., et al. 1 981 . Forage Quality of Western 
Wheatgrass Exposed to Sulfur Dioxide in Jour- 
nal of Range Management. Vol. 34, pp. 282-285. 

Munshower, Frank. Reclamation Research Unit, Mon- 
tana State University personal communication. 
November 3, 1982. 

Nirander, Safoya. North Dakota Public Service Com- 
mission, personal communication. November 8, 
1982. 

Power, J.F., et al. 1 981 . Effects of Topsoil and Subsoil 
Thickness on Soil Water Content and Crop Pro- 
duction on a Disturbed Soil in Soil Science 
Society of America Journal. Vol. 45, pp. 1 24- 1 28. 



Preston, E.M., 1979. The Ecological Implications of 
Chronic Sulfur Dioxide Exposure for Native 
Grasslands, report for 72nd Annual meeting, Air 
Pollution Control Association. Cincinnati, Ohio. 

Williamson, R.L, 1980. Re-establishing Woody Draws 
on the North Great Plains After Mining: The First 
Steps in Symposium of the Soil Conservation 
Society of America. Billings, Montana. 

Williamson, R.L., et al. 1 981 . Physical and Environmen- 
tal Factors of Woodland Ecosystems on the 
Glenharold Mine Reserve in Western North 
Dakota in Proceedings of the North Dakota 
Academy of Science. Vol. 35, 8. 



AIR QUALITY SUPPLEMENT 

Chapter 2 

All material in the Draft EIS on Air Quality is deleted and 
replaced with the Air Quality Supplement. All modifica- 
tions and corrections to Air Quality pertain to the Air 
Quality Supplement. 

Page ST, column 2, paragraph 2, immediately follow- 
ing "annual mean" at the end of paragraph add, "Fig- 
ure 2-2 indicates a drought index, which is not a fluctua- 
tion of annual precipitation, but rather a measure of soil 
moisture balance which includes precipitation." 

Page S-2, column 1, last paragraph, line 5, after "lead 
(Pb)," add "organic compounds." 

Page S-3, column 2, last paragraph, after the last sen- 
tence add, "It should be noted that the State Air Quality 
Bureau has proposed a new rule which would set a 
statewide SO2 baseline date as of March 26, 1 979. The 
final PSD rule may contain a county-by-county or an 
impact area mechanism for triggering baseline dates." 

Page S-5, column 1, after major heading "Acid Rain," 
add, "The following literature review is not intended to 
be an exhaustive nor comprehensively referenced 
technical review but a general summary of current 
information with emphasis on the controversial status 
of the subject. This discussion does not necessarily 
reflect the position of the Department of the Interior 
(see p. S-7, column 2, paragraph 2)." 

Page S-5, column 2, line 2, change 1970 to 1979. 

Page S-5, column 2, end of second paragraph after 
"acid." Add, "The literature reports that various ions in 
different combinations are found including ammo- 
nium sulfate." 

Page S-6, Table 2-2, add "Proposed" before "Integral" 
in title. 

Page S-8, column 1, line 1, delete the work "residual." 



1-8 



Page S-9, Table 2-3. Add following footnote, "State and 
federal regulations for the prevention of significant 
deterioration provide that the short-term (3 and 24- 
hour) increments can be exceeded only once per year." 

Chapter 3 

Page S-l 1 , the term "adverse" is hereby deleted wher- 
ever used in this Air Quality chapter. 

Page S-l 1 , column 2, end of first paragraph, add: "The 
leasing of coal is no guarantee that a mine-mouth 
facility will be allowed to use the coal. A site-specific 
review of a proposed project such as a power plant, 
gasification plant, or a liquefaction plant would have to 
be performed and evaluated by the respective permit- 
ting agencies in North Dakota and Montana, as well as 
be acceptable to the Federal Land Manager in Preven- 
tion of Significant Deterioration (PSD) Class I areas and 
the Environmental Protection Agency. This end-use 
analysis would take place before any of the new facilities 
would be considered for a permit to construct or oper- 
ate. 

The generic facilities studied in this draft are assumed 
to have emission control devices and subsequently 
emission rates similar to the types of facilities which 
have been permitted to date. This does not take into 
account technological advancements which could take 
place over the next 1 to 1 5 years before a specific type 
plant is operated at a specific base tract. In that sense, 
this document may be over estimating the air quality 
impacts." 

Page S-l 4, column 1, paragraph 3, sentence 3 is 
replaced with "MESOPCJFF was adapted by the North 
Dakota State Department of Health for mesoscale air 
quality analysis in North Dakota (NDSDH, 1982)." 

Page S-l 5, column 1, first complete paragraph, sen- 
tence 3 is deleted since the performance accuracy of 
the MESOPGFF model has not actually been estab- 
lished. 

Page S-16, column 1, paragraph 1, line 8, insert 
"-North" after "TRNP." 

Page S-l 7, column 1 , paragraph 2, line 7, change "over- 
lap with" to contribution to." 

Page S-l 7, column 2, paragraph 2, line 4, after "con- 
centrations" delete period and add, "resulting from all 
Leasing Alternatives." 

Page ST 7, Table 3-3, second column heading, change 
"Baseline 1975-1977" to "Baseline 1975-1997." 

Page S-27, column 1, paragraph 2, line 1, after "incre- 
ments" add, "(in this study)." 

Insert the following between pages S-32 and S-33: 

INTRODUCTION 

This report documents the results of regional air quality 
modeling analysis which assesses the cumulative sul- 



1-9 



fur dioxide (SO2) impacts at Theodore Roosevelt 
National Park- South Gnit (TRNP-S) from coal resource 
development proposed by the Bureau of Land Man- 
agement (BLM). This modeling analysis was recom- 
mended by the National Park Service (NPS) because of 
the proximity of some of the tracts to the South Gnit and 
because the Air Quality Information Supplemental 
(AQIS) to the Draft EIS prepared by BLM for proposed 
coal leasing within the Ft. Onion coal region only consi- 
dered worst-case impacts on the North Gnit of the 
TRNP. Results of the regional air quality impact analysis 
conducted previously were documented in the Air 
Quality Supplement and in a detailed technical report 
prepared for BLM by ECOS Management Criteria 
(BLM, 1982 b). 

The NPS recently analyzed potential air quality impacts 
at TRNP from existing and proposed major emission 
sources (emission sources subject to PSD review) in 
western North Dakota (NPS, 1982). End-use facilities 
associated with the Ft. Gnion coal leasing project were 
not included in the NPS analysis. Regional scale model- 
ing of the emissions, performed for the NPS analysis by 
the North Dakota State Department of Health, showed 
that allowable PSD Class I SO2 increments would be 
consumed and exceeded under worst-case conditions. 
The 24-hour average incremental concentrations at 
TRNP-S were predicted to be 15-19 ug/m 3 during a 
72-hour meteorological episode starting January 10 
( 1 964 meteorological conditions). In evaluation of the 
potential effects of sulfur dioxide at these levels on 
sensitive biological species in the Park, the NPS con- 
cluded that no unacceptable adverse effects would be 
expected, although the predicted sulfur dioxide con- 
centrations are not far below the adverse effect level. 

The particular meteorological episode referred to 
above represented the worst-case scenario for existing 
and pending PSD sources, but not necessarily for the 
BLM Ft. Gnion coal leasing sources. It was not modeled 
in the Ft. Gnion coal leasing air quality study. However, 
because of the NPS finding that SO2 concentrations for 
this episode and group of emission sources would be 
close to an adverse effects level, it became important to 
determine how much the SO2 concentration might be 
increased by the Ft. Gnion coal leasing project under 
the same scenario, and to evaluate whether the result- 
ing higher level might reach the adverse effects level, 
particularly with respect to the most sensitive vegeta- 
tion species, lichens. 

Thus, the specific objective of the present modeling 
analysis is to predict incremental and cumulative 
ground level SO2 at TRNP-S resulting from emission 
sources in the baseline inventories developed for 1 975 
and 1997, and those proposed by the BLM for coal 
leasing Alternatives 3 and 6 during the January 10-13, 
1 964, meteorological episode lasting for 72 hours. The 
predicted SO2 concentrations are compared with 
allowable PSD increments and with published data on 
SO2 concentrations reported to be injurious to sensi- 
tive plant species found at TRNP-S. 



METHODOLOGIES AND ASSUMPTIONS 

The regional air quality model MESOPUFF was 
employed to calculate SO2 impacts at TRNP-S from 
emission sources located within the modeling grid 
described in the earlier air quality analyses (Figure 1 ). 
One-hour, 3-hour, and 24-hour average concentrations 
of SO2 and sulfates (SO4) were calculated by 
MESOPCIFF for eight receptors selected by the 
NDSDH for the TRNP-South Unit (Schock, 1982). 
Table 1 presents the grid coordinates of these recep- 
tors defined relative to the origin of the NDSDH model- 
ing grid, and to the origin of the modeling grid selected 
by ECOS. The NDSDH and ECOS modeling grids have 
different origins, as each was arbitrarily selected for 
different study purposes. 

TABLE 1 
RECEPTORS LOCATED AT TRNP-SOUTH UNIT 



Receptor 
Number 



Grid Coordinates 

NDSDH ECOS 

X Y X Y 



1 


3.50 


5.00 


10.14 


6.62 


2 


3.67 


5.00 


10.31 


6.62 


3 


3.83 


5.00 


10.47 


6.62 


4 


3.33 


5.17 


9.96 


6.76 


5 


3.50 


5.17 


10.14 


6.76 


6 


3.67 


5.17 


10.31 


6.76 


7 


3.17 


5.33 


9.80 


6.90 


8 


3.33 


5.33 


9.96 


6.90 



MESOPUFF modeling runs were conducted using the 
meteorological input data assembled by the NDSDH 
for the 72-hour episode occurring between 1 200 GMT 
(0600 CST) January 10, 1964, and 1200 GMT (0600 
CST) January 1 3, 1 964. The preprocessor MESOPAC 
was used to generate all meteorological inputs required 
by the MESOPUFF model. All upper-air and surface 
meteorological data available in the 1 964 meteorologi- 
cal data base developed by the NDSDH were input to 
MESOPAC. Table 2 shows meteorological inputs for 
three rawinsonde stations at Bismarck, Glasgow, and 
Rapid City, which are the closest stations to the TRNP- 
South Unit. In general, winds were light to moderate, 
especially during the second day of the episode. 
Atmospheric conditions were generally slightly stable 
with limited mixing. The average of the mixing heights 
shown in Table 2 is roughly 400 meters (m). These 
atmospheric conditions tend to build up pollutant con- 
centrations and, hence, are conducive to high ground- 
level impacts. 

Four modeling runs of the MESOPUFF model were 



performed to predict SO2 and SO4 concentrations at 
the eight receptors in TRNP-S. These runs were 
designed to estimate impacts from emission sources in 
the 1975 and 1997 inventories, and from sources pro- 
posed for BLM Leasing Alternative 3 and 6. Emission 
rates and stack parameters of the modeled sources 
were tabulated and referenced in the Draft Air Quality 
Supplement and the backup technical report (BLM, 
1982 b). The 1975 and 1997 inventories of non-BLM 
projects are reproduced herein in Tables 3 and 4, 
respectively, for convenience. 

Outputs from MESOPUFF consist of hourly, 3-hour, 
and 24-hour running averages of SO2 and SO4 pre- 
dicted at each of the eight receptors. To calculate total 
ambient SO2 concentrations, the background concen- 
trations derived and used in the air quality analysis are 
assumed to be applicable. These background values 
for SO2 are tabulated in Table 5. 

MODELING RESULTS 

In the following paragraphs, predicted concentrations 
at eight receptors located in the TRNP-South Unit are 
summarized and discussed for each of the four 
MESOPUFF modeling runs. Total ambient SO2 con- 
centrations are shown in the last part of this section 
(Cumulative Ambient Pollutant Concentrations). 

Incremental Pollutant Concentrations at TRNP-S from 
1 975 Emission Sources 

Maximum SO2 and SO4 concentrations predicted at 
each receptorfor emission sources in the 1976 inven- 
tory are shown in Table 6. For SO2, maximum Thour, 
3-hour and 24-hour averages were predicted to be 
32.78 ug/m 3 , 23.37 ug/m 3 and 6.27 ug/m 3 , respec- 
tively, These incremental concentrations would be 
added to the background concentrations to obtain the 
total ambient pollutant concentrations, as described 
later under Cumulative Ambient Pollutant Concentra- 
tions. 

Incremental Pollutant Concentrations at TRNP-S from 
1 997 Emission Sources 

Predicted maximum SO2 and SO4 incremental con- 
centrations from 1 997 emission sources are tabulated 
in Table 7. For SO2, maximum 1-hour, 3-hour, and 
24-hour averages were calculated to be 33.34 ug/m 3 , 
32.47 ug/m 3 and 16.18 ug/m 3 , respectively. From this 
table, it can be concluded that both the 3-hour and 
24-hour allowable PSD Class I increments for SO2 are 
consumed at TRNP-S by existing and pending PSD 
sources compiled in the 1 997 inventory. This finding is 
in agreement with the modeling results obtained pre- 
viously by the NDSDH (NPS, 1 982). These incremental 
concentrations would be added to the sum of the back- 
ground and 1 975 incremental concentrations to obtain 
the total ambient pollutant concentrations, as des- 
cribed later under Cumulative Ambient Pollutant Con- 
centrations. 



1-10 




1-11 



TABLE 2 
SELECTED METEOROLOGICAL INPUT DATA FOR JANUARY 10-13 EPISODE 







850-mb 


* Winds 






Time 












(GMT* Hour- 




Speed 


Direction 


Mixing Height 


Atmospheric 


Julian Date) 


Station 


(m/s)* 


(deg)* 


(m) ' 


Stability Class 


12-010 


Bismarck 


7.0 


197 


310.0 


5 




Glasgow 


9.0 


294 


401.0 


5 




Rapid City 


1.0 


331 


300.0 


5 


00-01 1 


Bismarck 


7.0 


169 


460.0 


4 




Glasgow 


1.0 


307 


253.0 


3 




Rapid City 


12.0 


335 


500.0 


4 


12-011 


Bismarck 


8.0 


80 


100.0 


6 




Glasgow 


1.9 


56 


403.0 


5 




Rapid City 


4.0 


73 


295.0 


5 


00-012 


Bismarck 


5.0 


80 


309.0 


3 




Glasgow 


3.0 


237 


496.0 


4 




Rapid City 


3.0 


27 


400.0 


3 


12-012 


Bismarck 


3.0 


253 


100.0 


6 




Glasgow 


4.0 


292 


298.0 


5 




Rapid City 


5.0 


357 


202.0 


6 


00-013 


Bismarck 


7.0 


257 


450.0 


3 




Glasgow 


15.0 


236 


806.0 


4 




Rapid City 


5.0 


192 


496.0 


4 


12-013 


Bismarck 


15.0 


250 


362.0 


5 




Glasgow 


13.0 


297 


300.0 


5 




Rapid City 


7.0 


280 


00.0 


6 



GMT Greenwich Mean Time 

mb millibar 

m/s meters per second 

deg degree 



1-12 



TABLE 3 
EMISSIONS SOURCES FOR 1975 BASELINE 





Emission Rates 




Emission Parameters 




Name 


SOo 

<g/sr 


TSP 

(g/s) 


N0 2 

(g/s) 


Stack 
Height (m 


Diameter 
) (m) 


Temp. 
(K)** 


Exit 
(m/s) 


RM Heskett 1 


91.7 


0.8 


17.6 


91.4 


2.1 


447.4 


15.8 


RM Heskett I! 


223.5 


1.9 


43.0 


91.4 


3.6 


426.9 


12.7 


AMOCO Boiler 1 


27.5 


0.1 


8.7 


31.4 


1.7 


439.1 


9.8 


AMOCO Boiler 2 


27.5 


0.1 


8.7 


31.4 


1.7 


439.1 


9.8 


AMOCO Boiler 3 


27.5 


0.1 


8.7 


30.5 


1.7 


439.1 


9.8 


AMOCO CO Furnace 


90.1 


7.1 


1.7 


60.7 


3.4 


552.3 


7.9 


AMOCO Alk Furnace 


20.2 


0.0 


5.3 


53.3 


1.9 


444.0 


8.0 


Basin Leland Olds I 


874.0 


3.2 


305.4 


106.7 


5.3 


451.3 


16.7 


Basin Leland Olds II 


1723.7 


16.1 


731.5 


152.4 


6.7 


455.2 


18.3 


UPA Stanton 


513.0 


20.9 


272.4 


77.7 


4.6 


404.1 


27.2 


Milton R. Young 1 


575.6 


2.6 


383.8 


91.4 


5.8 


449.7 


21.3 


Milton R. Young II 


710.7 


21.3 


592.2 


167.6 


7.6 


438.6 


20.3 


WJ. Neal 1 


25.4 


1.0 


40.7 


42.4 


1.8 


478.0 


25.6 


WJ. Neal II 


25.4 


0.7 


40.7 


42.4 


1.8 


461.0 


24.3 


Montana SO2 Flares 1* 


2421.5 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


Montana SO2 Flares II* 


3632.2 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


Montana-Dakota Utilities 


131.0 


191.4 


65.3 


61.0 


2.1 


474.7 


43.6 


Holly Sugar 


0.45 


29.2 


0.0 


78.0 


3.2 


493.0 


10.0 


N. Cheyenne Forest Prods 


0.0 


16.8 


0.0 


9.1 


.8 


589.0 


5.87 



•Estimated emissions from gas flares in Roosevelt County (I) and Richland County (II). 

** g/s — grams per second 
K - Kelvin 

Source: North Dakota State Department of Health and Montana Air Quality Bureau. 



1-13 



TABLE 4 
EMISSIONS SOURCES FOR 1997 BASELINE 





Emission Rates 




Emission Parameters 




Name 


so 2 
(g/sr 


TSP 

(g/s) 


N0 2 

(g/s) 


Stack 
Height (m 


Diameter 
) (m) 


Temp. 
(K)** 


Exit 
(m/s) 


Coal Creek 
Units 1 and 2 


1598.0 


132.0 


931.4 


201.0 


6.7 


404.6 


27.2 


Coyote 


673.0 


56.1 


492.7 


152.0 


6.4 


374.0 


27.2 


ANG 

Main 1 and 2 
Start 1 
Start 2 


338.4 
60.0 
13.6 


34.8 
0.0 
0.0 


196.6 
8.0 
1.0 


121.9 
48.8 
48.8 


4.9 
3.2 
3.2 


469.1 
1366.3 
1366.3 


21.4 

16.8 

1.3 


Antelope Valley 
Units 1 and 2 


484.6 


53.0 


621.2 


182.9 


7.0 


356.3 


23.2 


Warren Petroleum 
Claus Incinerator 


81.7 


0.0 


0.0 


59.4 


1.8 


810.9 


5.2 


Western Gas 

Claus Incinerator 


28.5 


0.0 


0.0 


30.5 


0.46 


866.3 


19.8 


Antelope Valley 
Unit 3 


474.7 


23.7 


355.9 


182.9 


7.6 


356.3 


25.0 


Nokota 


327.6 


14.1 


556.9 


152.4 


11.2 


394.0 


12.2 


St. Anthony 
Units 1 and 2 


415.0 


47.4 


711.8 


182.9 


7.6 


356.3 


25.0 


MP&L 
Unitl 


892.1 


44.6 


892.1 


213.4 


10.6 


340.8 


12.6 


Koch Hydrocarbon 


26.0 


0.0 


0.0 


45.7 


0.6 


894.1 


12.7 


Kerr McGee 


55.3 


0.0 


0.0 


61.0 


0.2 


1000.0 


112.3 


Perry Petrolane 


7.9* 


0.0 


0.0 


54.9 


0.1 


1000.0 


99.4 


Shell Oil 


44.8 


0.0 


0.0 


61.0 


0.2 


1000.0 


56.2 


Phillips Petroleum 


11.8 


0.0 


0.0 


61.0 


0.3 


1273.0 


20.0 


AMOCO 

Claus Incinerator 


31.4 


0.0 


0.0 


45.7 


1.1 


810.8 


12.2 


Western Energy, Rosebud 


1.86 


194.1 


31.8 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


Montana Power, Colstrip 
Units 1 and 2 


188.3 


31.7 


500.5 


152.4 


5.03 


366.3 


32.0 


Peabody Coal, Colstrip 


0.6 


39.3 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


Poplar River Power Plant 
Coronach, Sask 


1352 


56.7 


454 


122 


7.1 


425 


14 


Alternative 1 Mines 
Antelope 
Center 
Glenharold 
North Beulah 
Renner 
Schoolhouse 
Underwood 


0.0 
0.0 
0.0 
0.0 
0.0 
0.0 
0.0 


105.6 
67.9 
75.7 
31.6 

174.5 
83.3 

143.8 


0.0 
0.0 
0.0 
0.0 
0.0 
0.0 
0.0 


0.0 
0.0 
0.0 
0.0 
0.0 
0.0 
0.0 


0.0 
0.0 
0.0 
0.0 
0.0 
0.0 
0.0 


0.0 
0.0 
0.0 
0.0 
0.0 
0.0 
0.0 


0.0 
0.0 
0.0 
0.0 
0.0 
0.0 
0.0 



'According to NDSDH, this value has been revised to 25; however, the value shown was used in modeling studies by 
both the NDSDH and the present study. 

Source: North Dakota State Department of Health, Montana Air Quality Bureau, and BLM. 

1-14 



TABLES 

ESTIMATED S0 2 REGIONAL BACKGROUND 

CONCENTRATIONS 

Averaging Time SO2 (ug/m) 3 * 

1 -hour maximum 82 

3-hour maximum 27 

24-hour maximum 9 

Source: BLM, 1982 
*micrograms per cubic meter 



TABLE 6 
PREDICTED MAXIMUM IMPACTS FROM 1975 SOURCES 

Incremental pollutant concentrations in micrograms per cubic meter 





Allowable PSD 








Receptor 








Pollutant/ Averaging Time 


Increment 


1 


2 


3 


4 


5 


6 


7 


8 


Sulfur Dioxide: 




















1-hour maximum 




32.54 


30.91 


29.26 


32.78 


32.66 


30.10 


30.95 


32.35 


3-hour maximum 


25 


22.84 


23.29 


23.24 


22.13 


23.06 


23.37 


20.81 


21.96 


24-hour maximum 


5 


5.34 


5.74 


6.27 


4.52 


4.68 


4.90 


4.13 


4.16 


Sulfates: 




















1-hour maximum 




5.80 


5.31 


4.73 


6.13 


5.92 


5.27 


6.03 


6.16 


3-hour maximum 




4.08 


3.97 


3.77 


4.19 


4.18 


4.04 


4.15 


4.23 


24- hour maximum 




1.62 


1.64 


1.67 


1.63 


1.64 


1.64 


1.69 


1.70 



TABLE 7 
PREDICTED MAXIMUM IMPACTS FROM 1997 SOURCES 

Incremental pollutant concentrations in micrograms per cubic meter 





Allowable PSD 








Receptor 








Pollutant/ Averaging Time 


Increment 


1 


2 


3 


4 


5 


6 


7 


8 


Sulfur Dioxide: 




















1-hour maximum 




27.90 


26.37 


26.47 


21.02 


26.93 


33.34 


20.93 


20.19 


3-hour maximum 


25 


27.41 


25.79 


26.05 


20.18 


25.61 


32.47 


18.86 


18.49 


24-hour maximum 


5 


13.95 


13.98 


14.30 


12.62 


16.18 


15.36 


10.62 


11.05 


Sulfates: 




















1-hour maximum 




4.27 


4.30 


4.30 


3.29 


3.71 


4.08 


2.61 


2.65 


3-hour maximum 




4.24 


4.26 


4.26 


3.27 


3.67 


4.07 


2.58 


2.64 


24-hour maximum 




2.45 


2.49 


2.54 


2.13 


2.27 


2.36 


1.84 


1.89 



1-15 



Incremental Pollutant Concentrations at TRNP-S from 
Alternative 3 Emission Sources 

Maximum incremental concentrations of SO2 and 
SO4 resulting from all facilities proposed under Leas- 
ing Alternative 3 are shown in Table 8. For SO2, maxi- 
mum 1 -hour, 3-hour and 24-hour averages were pre- 
dicted to be 15.59 ug/m 3 , 15.21 ug/m 3 , and 6.05 
ug/m 3 , respectively. It may be noted that Alternative 3 
emission sources totally consume by themselves the 
allowable 24-hour PSD Class I increment of 5 ug/m 3 . 
These incremental concentrations would be added to 
the sum of the background and incremental 1 975 and 
1 997 concentrations to obtain the total ambient pollu- 
tant concentrations, as described later under Cumula- 
tive Ambient Pollutant Concentrations. 

Incremental Pollutant Concentrations at TRNP-S from 
Alternative 6 Emission Sources 

Table 9 shows the predicted maximum incremental 
concentrations of SO2 and SO4 resulting from all facili- 
ties proposed under Alternative 6. This alternative is 
proposed as the maximum level of coal resource 
development. Similar to Alternative 3, which is the pre- 
ferred alternative, the MESOPGFF modeling results 
show that the allowable 24-hour PSD Class 1 increment 
for SO2 will be consumed by the Alternative 6 emission 
sources alone, Maximum SO2 1-hour, 3-hour and 24- 
hour averages were predicted to be 31 .73 ug/m 3 , 1 9.59 
ug/m 3 , and 8.58 ug/m 3 , respectively. These incremen- 
tal concentrations would be added to the sum of the 
background and incremental 1975 and 1997 concen- 
trations to obtain the total ambient pollutant concentra- 
tions, as described below. 

Cumulative Ambient Pollutant Concentrations 

To estimate maximum ambient (total) SO2 concentra- 
tions for Alternatives 3 and 6, the assumed background 
values are added to the sum of the maximum incre- 
mental concentrations predicted for 1975 sources, 
1997 sources and sources proposed for each alterna- 
tive, as shown in Table 1 0. It should be noted that the 
maximum ambient concentrations calculated in this 
manner are conservatively high for the cumulative con- 
centration estimates, since maximum increments for 
each source group occur at different receptors and at 
different time periods. However, the procedure is illus- 
trative for a conservative analysis of impacts on air 
quality-related values. It is also possible that individual 
source contributions may be higher. Site specific anal- 
yses for SO2 emissions from end-use facilities have not 
been reported, but would be included in the PSD pro- 
cess. The site-specific analyses are important because 
the meteorology that gave the highest cumulative con- 
centrations will not necessarily give the highest contri- 
bution from individual sources. 

Table 1 presents the maximum SO2 ambient impacts 
at the TRNP-S for Alternatives 3 and 6. For Alternative 3, 
the maximum 1-hour, 3-hour, and 24-hour averages 



were estimated to be 164 ug/m 3 , 98 ug/m 3 , and 38 
ug/m 3 , respectively. For Alternative 6, ambient concen- 
trations of 1 80 ug/m 3 , 1 02 ug/m 3 , and 40 ug/m 3 were 
predicted, respectively, for maximum 1-hour, 3-hour, 
and 24-hour averages. It can be concluded that cumu- 
lative impacts are approximately the same for both 
leasing alternatives. However, it may also be noted that 
the incremental 24-hour average concentration due to 
Alternative 6 (8.58 ug/m 3 ) exceeds that due to Alterna- 
tive 3 (6.05 ug/m 3 ) by an amount (2.53 ug/m 3 ) equal to 
half of the allowable PSD increment, and from this 
perspective, the difference in impacts between the two 
alternatives is not insignificant. 

Since either Alternative 3 or Alternative 6 sources are 
predicted to add SO2 concentrations exceeding the 
allowable 24-hour PSD increment in a Class I area 
where the allowable increment has already been con- 
sumed, it is clear that any proposed projects in the 
vicinity of TRNP-S associated with the BLM coal leasing 
alternatives would require thorough site-specific 
analyses. 

EVALUATION OF IMPACTS ON SENSITIVE 
SPECIES 

Plant species sensitive to sulfur dioxide at TRNP-S and 
meteorological concentration levels at which adverse 
effects have been noted are shown in Tables 1 1 and 1 2, 
reproduced from the recent NPS report (NPS, 1982) 

In evaluating potential effects of the SO2 concentra- 
tions predicted in the modeling studies by comparing 
the predicted concentrations (Table 1 0) with the effects 
levels (Tables 1 1 and 1 2), it may be seen that the 
concentration levels in the two sets of tables are not 
directly compatible because of widely differing averag- 
ing times. It must also be borne in mind that the pre- 
dicted short-term concentrtations (Table 1 0) represent 
maximum worst-case concentrations for short-term 
episodes. The annual average ambient (total) SO2 
concentrations predicted at TRNP-S in the earlier stud- 
ies are 3.9 ug/m 3 for the 1 997 (non-BLM project) sour- 
ces, 4.3 ug/m 3 for Alternative 3, and 4.9 ug/m 3 for 
Alternative 6. Although it is not possible to interpolate 
reliably between predicted annual average concentra- 
tions and maximum worst-case short-term concentra- 
tions, it would appear that SO2 concentrations for the 
intermediate averaging times associated with the 
adverse effect would likely be below the adverse effects 
levels for both Alternatives 3 and 6, except possibly for 
the lichens species Usnea hiita and Usnect sp. 
which are reported to be affected by SO2 at a 30-day 
average concentration of 2 ug/m 3 and 25 ug/m 3 , 
respectively. Again, however, it is clear that potential 
effects on sensitive species will require thorough eval- 
uation in connection with any proposed, new major 
SO2 emission sources in the vicinity of TRNP-S. 

CONCLUSIONS 

The data found in the section on Cumulative Ambient 



1-16 



TABLE 8 
PREDICTED MAXIMUM IMPACTS FROM ALTERNATIVE 3 SOURCES 

Incremental pollutant concentrations in micrograms per cubic meter 





Allowable PSD 








Receptor 








Pollutant/ Averaging Time 


Increment 


1 


2 


3 


4 


5 


6 


7 


8 


Sulfur Dioxide: 




















1-hour maximum 




9.43 


9.22 


10.26 


12.98 


11.43 


9.72 


15.46 


15.59 


3-hour maximum 


25 


9.24 


8.88 


9.48 


12.43 


11.10 


9.58 


14.97 


15.21 


24-hour maximum 


5 


5.21 


5.24 


5.37 


5.50 


5.29 


5.17 


6.05 


5.96 


Sulfates: 




















1-hour maximum 




1.92 


1.71 


1.77 


2.34 


2.07 


1.78 


2.67 


2.60 


3-hour maximum 




1.89 


1.69 


1.61 


2.26 


2.00 


1.73 


2.57 


2.47 


24-hour maximum 




1.42 


1.40 


1.40 


1.44 


1.39 


1.35 


1.45 


1.43 



TABLE 9 
PREDICTED MAXIMUM IMPACTS FROM ALTERNATIVE 6 SOURCES 

Incremental pollutant concentrations in micrograms per cubic meter 





Allowable PSD 








Receptor 








Pollutant/Averaging Time 


Increment 


1 


2 


3 


4 


5 


6 


7 


8 


Sulfur Dioxide: 




















1-hour maximum 




16.42 


24.26 


31.73 


20.23 


19.95 


21.08 


18.62 


20.00 


3-hour maximum 


25 


15.68 


14.95 


15.64 


1824 


18.32 


17.79 


18.21 


19.59 


24-hour maximum 


5 


7.85 


7.74 


7.41 


8.43 


8.56 


8.58 


8.10 


8.48 


Sulfates: 




















1-hour maximum 




3.97 


4.24 


4.37 


4.52 


4.40 


4.84 


4.95 


4.79 


3-hour maximum 




3.77 


3.98 


4.15 


4.09 


4.30 


4.55 


4.30 


4.54 


24-hour maximum 




1.99 


1.95 


1.91 


2.07 


2.04 


2.00 


2.07 


2.09 



TABLE 10 
MAXIMUM S0 2 AMBIENT CONCENTRATIONS AT TRNP-S 

Pollutant concentrations in micrograms per cubic meter 







Maximum 


Maximum 


Maximum 


Maximum 


Cumulative Maximu 


im Total 






1975 


1997 


Alt. 3 


Alt. 6 








Averaging Time 


Background 


Increment 


Increment 


Increment 


Increment 


1997 


Alt. 3 


Alt. 6 


1-hour maximum 


82 


32.78 


33.34 


15.59 


31.73 


148 


164 


180 


(receptor, time) 1 




(4,11,15) 


(6,11,22) 


(8,12,01) 


(3,11,06) 








3-hour maximum 


27 


23.37 


32.47 


15.21 


19.59 


83 


98 


102 


(receptor, time) 1 




(6,11,16) 


(6,11,23) 


(8,12,02) 


(8,12,02) 








24-hour maximum 


9 


6.27 


16.18 


6.05 


8.58 


31 


38 


40 


(receptor, time) 1 




(3,12,12) 


(5,12,07) 


(7,12,13) 


(6,12,21) 









'Location and time of occurrence (receptor number, Julian date, hour at start) 

1-17 



TABLE 1 1 

PLANT SPECIES SENSITIVE TO SULFUR 

DIOXIDE IN THEODORE ROOSEVELT 

NATIONAL PARK 



Species 


so 2 

Concentration 
(ug/m 3 ) 


Averaging 
Time 


Western wheatgrass 


52 


30 days 


Ricegrass 


173 


6 weeks 


Sunflower 


133 


5 weeks 


Aspen 


37-53 
931 


4 months 
3 hours 


Green ash 


1330 


30 hours 


Lichens (Gsnea hirta and 
Parmelia chlorachroa) 


2 
52 


30 days 
30 days 



TABLE 12 
ADDITIONAL REFERENCES ON POTENTIAL LICHEN EFFECTS 



Species 



SO2 Cone/Duration 
(ug/m 3 ) 



Effect 



Reference 



Physcia stellar is 



Xanthoria fallax 
Physconia grisea 
Cladonia rangiferina 



Cladonia rangiferina 
Usnea sp. 

Pel tiger a canina 



6500/4 hours 



3900/1 hour 
2000/3 hours 
550/1 day 
160/1 week 
66/1 month 
22/6 months 
1 4/ 1 year 

176/36 days 



25/30 days 



266/9 days 



Sig. change in 
photosynthesis and 
respiration. 

Threshold for decrease 
in photosynthesis. 



Beekely & Hofman, 1982. 
Bryologist 84: 379-390. 



Tomassini, et al. 1977. 
New Phytol. 79:147-155. 



51% decrease in 
photosynthesis. 

Loss of species from 
flora in Polish forests. 



Over 70% reduction 
in nitrogen fixation. 



Moser, etal. 1980. Can 
J. Bot. 58: 2235-2240. 

Grodzinski & Yorks, 1981. 
Water, Air & Soil Poll. 16: 
33-53. 

Hendrikisson & Pearson. 
1981. Amer. J. Bot. 68: 
680-684. 



Source: NPS, 1982 



1-18 



Pollutant Concentrations and Table 10 of this report 
show that cumulative ambient SO2 concentrations at 
TRNP-S are projected to greatly exceed the allowable 
Class I PSD increment for SO2. Table 1 indicates that 
24-hour ambient concentrations of up to 31 ug/m 3 (22 
ug/m 3 above background) could occur in 1 997 without 
any of the coal leasing development activities proposed 
in the E1S. The 24-hour Class I PSD increment for SO2 
is 5 ug/m 3 . 

Since the baseline SO2 concentration for PSD pur- 
poses is 1 5 ug/m 3 , and because estimated cumulative 
24-hour ambient SO2 concentrations at TRNP-S for 
Alternatives 3 and 6 could reach 38 ug/m 3 or 40 ug/m 3 
respectively, the Class I increments are projected to be 
exceeded. Development of the coal leases will require a 
certification by the Federal Land Manager (FLM) that 
no adverse impacts will result from the development. 
This certification will be based on a careful analysis of 
potential impacts on the air quality-related values 
(AQRVs), including visibility, that are found in the park. 
This certification process, defined in Section 
1 65(d)(2)(C) of the Clean Air Act, provides the possible 
exception to the general rule that a proposed facility 
must not violate the Class I increments. 

The certification of no adverse impact includes a site- 
specific test which examines on a project-by-project 
basis whether a proposed facility will unacceptably 
affect the resources of a Class I area if the manager of a 
Class I area determines that the proposed facility will 
not adversely affect the air quality-related values in the 
Class I increment. The DOI procedures for the adverse 
impact determination process are discussed in more 
detail in the Federal Register (47 FR 30226, Monday, 
July 12, 1982). 

The adverse impact determination will be particularly 
critical for coal development proposed in this EIS 
because of the high ambient SO2 concentrations that 
are predicted at TRNP-S. In a previous impact determi- 
nation in the Federal Register (47 FR 30222, July 12, 
1982) based on an emission inventory similar to the 
1 997 baseline of this EIS, the National Park Service 
found that no unacceptable adverse effects on air qual- 
ity related values were expected to occur. However, 
estimated SO2 concentrations were approaching thres- 
hold levels known to produce effects on certain sensi- 
tive species that are found in the park, i.e., two species 
of lichens. Since the NPS analysis was based on 
ambient SO2 concentratiosn that were significantly 
lower than the cumulative ambient concentrations pre- 
dicted for Alternatives 3 and 6 herein, it would appear 
that additional coal leasing and development at the 
level proposed in the EIS could result in unacceptable 
impacts at TRNP-S. 

SUMMARY 

The results of the modeling study predict that sulphur 
dioxide pollution in the Theodore Roosevelt National 
Park- South will substantially exceed federal standards 



for Prevention of Significant Deterioration even if no 
federally-owned coal resources are leased by BLM. Any 
federal leasing would add to the sulphur dioxide pollu- 
tion. The sulphur dioxide concentrations predicted for 
alternatives 3 and 6 could cause adverse effects on two 
sensitive plant species, both lichens, at Theodore 
Roosevelt National Park- South. Therefore, any pro- 
posed coal development project which could increase 
the sulphur dioxide concentrations at Theodore 
Roosevelt National Park- South would require thorough 
evaluation of its predicted effects on sensitive species 
and certification by the National Park Service that no 
adverse impacts would result from the development. 

Page S-33, column 1, paragraph 2, change second 
sentence to "It also describes an accepted scale for 
categorizing levels of human perceptibility for visibility 
degradation." 

Page S-34, Table 3-6, line 3, change "9.994" to "0.994" 
and "9.0 or less" to "0.9 or less." Line 4, underline 
29.7%. Line 5 underline 66.1%. Line 6 underline 0.771. 

Page S-35, column 1, paragraph 1, lines 7 and 8, 
change "Table 3-5" to "Table 3-7." 

Page S-36, column 1 , paragraph 2, change the second 
and third sentences to "The predominant soil types in 
North Dakota are calcareous and would be little 
affected, although there are some areas in Mercer, 
McHenry, and Divide counties, and in some counties 
east of the Ft. Union coal region where sensitive soil 
types occur." 

Page S-36, column 2, paragraph 5, line 6, change 
"Table 3-3" to "Table 3-5." 

Page S-44, add the following after the last paragraph: 

Short Term Csage and Impacts Versus Long 
Term Effects 

The short-term impacts of the project on regional air 
quality have been described in the air quality section of 
the Air Quality Supplement. 

Short-term impacts, due to emissions from coal mining 
and conversion processes, will disappear as soon as the 
mining and conversion processes are completed and 
their emissions cease. No long-term impacts would 
remain insofar as regional air quality itself is concerned. 

Potential long-term impacts couid remain on environ- 
mental resources which have been affected by air pollu- 
tion during the operational phase of the project. 
Radioactive and other trace elements deposited on the 
land from coal conversion emissions would remain in 
surface soils for a long period, possibly affecting agri- 
culture, biotic resources, and water quality. The nature 
and extent of the long-term effects of such deposition 
are not expected to be significantly harmful but cannot 
be defined at this time. Effects associated with acid 
precipitation may also persist beyond the duration of 



1-19 



the project but may be expected to start recovering as 
soon as the acid precipitation stops at the end of the 
project period. 

Irreversible, Irretrievable Commitment of 
Resources 

The mines and facilities would cause no irreversible 
changes in air quality. After the coal resources have 
been mined and converted to energy, and the mines 
have been returned to their original land use, there 
would be no further emissions of pollutants into the 
atmosphere. Regional air quality would rapidly return to 
its original quality, or to the quality it would have had if 
the project had not been undertaken. 

There may however, be some irreversible changes in 
soil and water quality in the region which could possibly 
be caused by the deposition of radioactive and other 
trace elements from emissions of the coal conversion 
operations. The nature and degree of such irreversible 
effects cannot be defined at this time. 

End of insert. 

Appendix C 

Page SA-4, footnote, at the bottom of the page add "a 
guideline, not standard." 

Page SA-4, column 2, paragraph 3, line 4, add "*" after 
average. 

Page SA-4, column 2, paragraph 1 1 , line 2, add "a" 
after *. 

Page SA-4, column 3, paragraph 1 , line 1 , add "a" after 
mean. 

Page SA-4, column 3, paragraph 1, line 2, change 
"34-hr" to "24-hr." 

Page SA-4, column 3, paragraph 3, line 1 , change "05" 
to "0.5." 

Page SA-4, column 3, paragraph 1 1 , line 2, add "a" 
after *. 

Page SA-4, column 4, paragraph 3, line 6, change 
"(0.24 ppm)" to "(0.28 ppm)." 

Page SA-4, column 4, paragraph 4, line 1 , change "0.24 
mg/100" to "0.25 mg/100." 

Page SA-4, column 5, paragraph 1 , line 2, change "200 
ug/m 3 " to " 1 50 ug/m 3 ." 

Appendix F 

Page SA-8, line 19 of Table (N. Cheyenne Forest 
Prods), draw a line under this entry, completing table of 
Emission Sources for 1 975 Baseline. Then, before line 
20 add new title, "Emission Sources of 1 997 Inventory" 
which comprises remainder of entries. 



Page SA-8, line 36 in table, change "MP&L Gnits 1 and 
2"to"MP&LUnitl." 

Pages SA-8 and SA-9, below both tables, add footnote 
"Source: North Dakota State Department of Health 
(North Dakota sources). Montana Air Quality Bureau 
(Montana sources)." 



Appendix H 

Page SA-1 1, column 2 (Alternative 1), line 7 (McCone 
County), change "3053" to "2773." 



References 

Page R-l, last reference under Bureau of Land Man- 
agement, after "1982" add "a." 

after last reference under Bureau of Land Man- 
agement, add " 1 982b. Air Quality and Climate Techni- 
cal Report for the Regional Environmental Impact 
Statement, Fort Gnion Region Billings, MT' 

Page R-2, last entry, change "Walther . . . 2184" to 
"Walther, E.G. et al 1980. Visibility Measured in the 
EPA/NPS Regional Network, June 1978 through May 
1980. Environmental Monitoring Systems Laboratory, 
Office of Research & Development, (JSEPA, Las Vegas. 

Page R-2, Gnder North Dakota State Department of 
Health add, " 1 979. The Long-term Effects of True Ele- 
ments Emitted by Energy Conversion of Lignite Coal. 
Bismarck, ND." 

Add, National Atmospheric Deposition Program. 
1979. Precipitation chemistry— Volumes I-PV. Natural 
Resource Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State Univer- 
sity, Fort Collins. 

add, Schock, M.R., 1982. Private communication 
dated October 19, 1982, to K. Eilar, ECOS Manage- 
ment Criteria, Inc. 

National Park Service, 1982. Technical Review of Six 
PSD Permit Applications Potentially Affecting Theo- 
dore Roosevelt National Park and Lostwood National 
Wildlife Refuge. Denver, Colorado. July; and Supple- 
mental Information, August 1982. 

Glossary 

PageG-l, column 1, "integral vista" should be defined 
as follows: 

"the view perceived from within the mandatory class I 
federal area of a specific landmark or panorama 
located outside the boundary of the mandatory class I 
area." See 40 CFR Sec. 51 .301 (n)( 1 981 ). . . The criteria 
for identification of integral vistas includes, but is not 
limited to, a determination of "whether the integral 
vistas are important to the visitor's visual experience 
associated with a mandatory class I area." Id. Sec. 
51.304(a). The regulations indentifying integral vistas 



1-20 



have not been promulgated. As a "major rule" under state is responsible for making final determinations 

Executive Order Mo. 1 2291 , these regulations are cur- regarding the degree of protection, if any, afforded to 

rently undergoing a Regulatory Impact Analysis. Once integral vistas in the permitting and land use planning 

a Federal Land Manager has identified integral vistas, processes, subject only to the general requirement that 

the State is responsible for incorporating the integral the state make "reasonable progress" toward the 

vistas into the State's air quality planning process (spe- national visibility goal specified in Section 169A of the 

cifically the State Implementation Plan). In addition, the Clean Air Act. 



1-21 



PART II 
Public Comments 



INTRODUCTION 



This section includes all the public comments received on the Ft. Union Draft E1S and the Air Quality Supplement. 
The public comments are printed in the order that they were received by this office. This procedure was used in order 
to include those responses that were received after the official closing date. The entire public hearings testimony is 
included, both the oral testimony and its written counterpart, as well as any written testimony that was not presented 
orally. 

The major issues and concerns that were identified by the public comment include effects of air pollution on animals, 
vegetation, and water; effects of mines and facilities on surface and groundwater; on-site and off-site effects of mines 
and facilities on agriculture; effects of mines and facilities on wildlife and wildlife habitat, especially wetlands, 
woodlands, and native prairie; effects of mining on the Knife River Flint Quarries; effects of new roads, transmission 
lines, pipelines, and railroad spurs on adjacent farms and ranches; and effects to the economic and social conditions 
of small cities and towns when large numbers of workers move into them. 

The major comments and questions were bracketed and numbered. In order to avoid confusion, the numerical order 
was continued from comment to comment, and thus the comments and questions have been numbered from 1 
through 368. 

LIST OF COMMENTORS AND RESPONSES 

Comments from Federal and State agencies, local governments and organizations and individuals are printed in 
their entirety, in chronological order as they were received. They are listed below with the page numbers of the 
comments and the response numbers which can be found in Part III. 



COMMENTOR 



PAGE * OF COMMENT 



RESPONSE 



FEDERAL AGENCIES 

Fish & Wildlife Service 
Department of the Army 
Department of Transportation 
Minerals Management Service 
National Park Service 
Bureau of Reclamation 
Bureau of Indian Affairs 
Environmental Protection Agency 
Geological Survey 
Office of Surface Mining 

INDIAN TRIBES 

Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Tribes 
Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck 
Reservation 

STATE AGENCIES 

State of North Dakota 
Allen I. Olson, Governor 
Department of Health 

Highway Department 

Federal Ad Coordination Office 

State of Montana 

Ted Schwinden, Governor 
Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks 
Department of Health State Clearinghouse 

LOCAL GOVERNMENT 

City of Dickinson 
City/County Planning Office 
Miles City/Custer County 
McCone County Commissioners 



2-1,2-3, 2-49 through 2-52 


205-214 


2-2 


6-10 


2-2 


11, 12 


2-3 


14 


2-4,2-5,2-11,2-12,2-68,2-29 


15, 16,35,36,295-304 


2-49, 2-53 


202-204 


2-62, 2-76 


261-263,3-47,3-48 


2-69, 2-70 


305-312 


2-76 


343-346 


2-77, 2-78 


349-367 


2-60, 2-61 


252 


2-65 through 2-68 


284-294 


2-62 


None 


2-6 through 2-9, 2-13 




through 2-15 


20-28,41-55 


2-61 * 


253 


2-77 


None 


2-57, 2-58, 2-59 


232-248 


2-55, 2-64 


277-283 


2-56, 2-57 


231 


2-77 


None 



2-1 

2-1 
2-60 



2,3 

4,5 
251 



ORGANIZATIONS & INDIVIDUALS 



Tenneco Coal 

Jean A. Roll 

Stark County Impact Association 

Utah International Inc. 

Albert L. Boeckel 

Dawson Resource Council 

McCone Agriculture Protection Organization 

Golden Valley Resource Council 

Ms. Bud Stevenson 

Charles Yarger 

Ms. Sovejg Howard 

Meridan Land & Mineral Co. 

Irene Moffett 

Helen Waller 

People for Economic Progress 

Wesco Resources 

Willie Day 

Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture 

Northern Plains Resource Council 

Edwin H. Ames, Jr. 

LeRoy M. Moline, D.D.S. 

Glenn Waller 

Circle Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture 

Flying V Apts. Inc., Elmo P.R. Dreyer 

Darrell Garoutte 

The Nakota Company 

Jean Dekker 

Sidney Chamber of Commerce 

Dakota Resource Council 

Frank E. "Ed" Eaton 



2-1 

2-2 

2-6,2-13 

2-9,2-61,2-62 

2-16,2-17 

2-18,2-19,2-25,2-26,2-31, 

2-32, 2-36, 2-37, 2-38 

2-20 

2-20,2-21,2-32 2-33 

2-21 

2-22, 2-23 through 2-35 

2-24, 2-35, 2-60 

2-24, 2-35, 2-36, 2-63 

2-25, 2-26, 2-37 

2-26 through 2-28, 2-38 

through 2-43 

2-28, 2-29, 2-43, 2-44 

2-29 through 2-31, 245, 246 

2-26, 2-37 

2-45 

2-46, 2-71 through 2-76 

2-47 

2-47 

2-47, 2-48 

2-48, 2-49, 2-52 

2-53 

2-53 

2-54, 2-55 

2-59 

2-62 

2-10,2-11,2-16,2-70,2-71 

2-64 



1 

13 

17-20,37-40 

28-30, 254-260 

58 

59,70,84,87-92, 124-135, 

144, 145, 149, 150 

71-75 

75-77, 136, 137 

77-79 

80, 138 

81,139-141,249-250 

82,83, 142-143,264-272 

84-87, 146-147 

92-108, 154-168 

109, 169 

110-123, 170-183 

88, 148 

None 

184-190,321-342 

191,192 

193-195 

196-200 

201 

None 

215-218 

219-230 

None 

None 

30-34,56,57,313-320 

273-276 



TennecoCoal 

A Tenneco Company 



Mr. David Darby 
Project Manager, Fort Unioi 
Bureau of Land Management 
222 North 32nd Street 
P. 0. Box 30157 
Billings. Montana 59107 



August 13, 1982 



Dei 



DEIS - Fort Union Coal Region 
Mr. Darby: 



In looking through the DEIS we just recieved, I noticed that the "surface 
owner nonconsent" map for the south Wibaux-Beach tract shows two (2) parcels 
of surface owner nonconsent. If I read the map correctly, they are all of 
fractional Section 30, T-13-N, R-6I-E, Wibaux County, Montana and lot 1 of 
fractional Section 22, T-139-N, R-106-W. Golden Valley County, North Dakota. 



On September 3, 1980, we forwarded copie 
:h numerous others) to Mr. Edgar 0. Stark 
re been inadvertantly misplaced, please le 



rfai 



md 1 look forward to 



?,>sv ,W, 




UNITED STATES 
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR IJ 
FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE 

Ecological Services 
Federal Building, Room 3035 

316 North 26th Street 
Billings, Montana 59101 

August 17, 1982 



a 



Mr. Dave Darby, Project I 
Fort Union Project 
Bureau of Land Management 
222 North 32nd Street 
P.O. Box 30157 
Billings. MT 59107 

Dear Mr. Darby: 

We have reviewed informal 
in the Draft Fort Unic 
Our informal comments 



i this draft. We have 



Regional Director. USFW! 
USFWS, 0EC, Washington D.C. 



ation on the Montana tracts which is contained 
Regional Coal Environmental Impact Statement. 
the Preliminary Draft have been incorporated 




city of dckinson 



August 18, 1982 



Mr. David Darby, Project ti 
Fort Union Project 
Bureau of Land Management 
222 North 32nd Street 
P. O. Bo* 30157 
Billings, MT 59107 



Fo 



ft EIS repeatedly 



al E I S 



lat the Alternative 2 and the preferri 
iual Impact upon Dickinson. Except: 
page 131 under the heading "Alternative 3," second sentence ..." 
An assumption that 60S of the work force for Dunn Center and Werner 
would originate In Dickinson ..." The estimated employment for 
those mines and facilities are given on pages 52 and 53. 

Although this City has had experience with impact and has a large 
population base with which to react: an estimated 1,000 workers trans- 
lates into many more people. Considering the families of these worker; 
and the additional supportive services that follow a rapid population 
growth, the EIS does not give a true picture of the impact thst 
Dickinson may expect by Alternative 2 or Alternative 3. 



rh« 



Bit I 



! EIS i 



The other misinformation Is from I 
ance there Is available to lmpactei 
This page does not point out that 
specifically limits the eligibilii 
units of government within flfteei 
active mining operation. Thereto: 

Alt. 



*■>■"- 



al l 



! Of I 



nlties as given on page A-28. 
orch Dakota statute (NDCC: 57-62-02) 

for the grant/loan programs to those 
miles of the tipple of a currently 
, Dickinson could not receive 
! development of 

The draft report 



Respectfully, 



ler, Pretid 



/LfZ^S 




nismS^ 



CITY / COUNTY PLANNING OFFICE 
MILES CITY / CUSTER COUNTY 

516 MAIN 

MILES CITY / MONTANA 59301 

(406) 232-6339 

B.rb.r« Kenn.dy . Pluming Dir«toi 



■ AuiaMl Planntt 



Dave Darby , Project Manager 
Fort Union Project 
P.O. Box 30157 
Billings, Montana 59107 

Having reviewed the Fott Unit 



EIS, I have only a few 



my gr. 



t,„| f . 



'aul Martin for an excellent job as writer/edi 

In the summary for Alternative 5, you state that Redwater II would result 
"completely destroying a portion of the Redwater River Valley". About 
Alternative 6, you state Redwater I would "further impact the Fiedwater Ri 1 
Valley". Each of the 2 tracts, as described in SSA's, gives me a better 
perspective thar the summai 



SSA'; 



■ Redw, 



(X is defined < 

is a drainage for rain ; 
r, more like a creek. 1 
ally bad stuff in it. 



The SSA text leads me 
melt of some 19,000 act. 
is stated in the SSA, 



;t the "end use* of the coal. I didi 
luded "end use (facilities)" in the 
ep in the coal leasing process. I ; 

upposed to concern itself with end t 



: do I 



i tide 



agree that the project should have t 
SSA phase. 1 still don't. The EIS 
no authority cited for the EIS to t. 
coal leasing and development. BLM i 

state responsibility. 

I always read about alternatives for tract groupings. If there is concern to 
your readers about impacts to social organization and well being in the listed 
communities, one alternative is to view Miles City as the place for the "first 
wave" new workers. Miles City is central among forthcoming coal field developtneni 
The City can provide for new workers, becoming a "labor pool" city as Cheyenne 
and Billings. The City has fewer mitigation measures to take than any listed 
community. Most small towns are nice. Miles City is big and nice. 



: do i 



6tJU**j> 



that the project team did , 






2-1 



DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY 




15 September 1982 



Mr. David Darby, Project 1 
Fort Union Project 
Bureau of Land Management 
222 North 32nd Street 
Post Office Box 30157 
Billings, Montana 59107 



Dear Mr. Darby; 



M 



? i 1 u 



the Fort Uni 



Fodt: i 



Affecting i.oal Development 



The document makes no n 
or Section 10 of the Ri 

(33 U.S.C. 1344) regula 

waterways 



ion of Section 404 of the clean Water Act 
and Harbor Act of 1899 and the Corps of 

ereof. Section 404 of the Clean Water Act 
the discharge of dredged or fill material 
lakes, and wetlands. Such activities must 



be authorized under the Nationwide perm: 
Department of the Army permit. Section 
of 3 March 1899 (33 U.S.C. 403) prohibii 
of alteration of any navigable water of 
construction of any structure in or ovei 



ed Sta 



t or permitted by an individual 
10 of the River and Harbor Act 
s the unauthorized obstruction 
the united States. The 
any navigable water of the 



nditi 



accompl l 



ing of material in such 
rk affecting the course. 
, or capacity of such waters is unlawful unless the 

work has been recommended by the Chief of Engineers and authorized by 

the Secretary of the Army. 

In the discussion of the alternatives, several statements are made 

g water intake structures, transmission lines (either water 

Le. as with 

ise basis. Filling 
il flow of less than 
idered under the Nation- 



ing i 

m of wetlands. It is 
ire. that filling acti 
in a waterway or wetland. Individual 
required for filling activities associ 
tions will be evaluated on a case-by-c 
es on waterways having an average annu 
feet per second will gen 



1 1 1 id 



Individual permits will be required for filling 
aterways where the average annual flow is greater than 



IS September 1982 



8 



I 



:,[-,_ 



The withdrawal of water from a Corps project would require the described 
Section 404 and 10 permits and also an easement for access across Corps 
lands. Water withdrawal and conveyance facilities designed to carry 

pal water as identified on page 106 would further require a water 

e contract from the Corps. 



Coal Slu 



ry Faciliti 



pages 



10 



The document makes no mention of coal slurry facili 
through 47. The FEIS should provide rationale for i 
slurry facilities or give thorough treatment of coal slurry operation 
Potential beneficial impacts particular to coal slurry operations 
could include energy delivery to remote users without large transmiss 
losses and without large aerial power lines,- reduced local social, 
economic, and environmental impacts: and incidental delivery of water 
for municipal or other domestic uses. Potential adverse impacts 
particular to coal slurry operations would include spills and the 
need for much greater volumes of water, which may conflict with other 
water uses. 



Lake are below optimum visitor 
ines of these two projects afford 
ities for increased visitation. A 
rangers would be required. However 
the major impact would be for cost-sharing funds from both federal 
and local agencies to provide new recreation facilities. While some 
wildlife would be displaced by the development and use of recreation 
facilities, the major land management proble 
from off-road vehicular use of project lands. 



Both 


Lake 


Sakakawe 




ind 


Fort 


Peck 


Utll 


zati 




The 








horel 


ample opportu 


nity 


to 




vide 


facil 


marg 


nal 


Lner 


ease 


in 


■'•'■ 


sonal 


park 



uld probably occ 



" W^KDEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION 

s VO^ / v 'x\ KtWftAl HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION 

September 17. 1982 




11 



12 



U.S. Department of the Interior HEI 

Bureau of Land Management 

Project Manager, Fort Union Coal Project 

Mr. David Darby 

222 North 32nd Street 

P.O. Box 30157 

Billings, MT 59107 

Dear Mr. Darby: 

Thank you for the opportunity to review your Draft Environmental Impact 

Statement for the Fort Union Coal Region. Our Washington Office has 

requested us to provide the review of this document since we are closely 
involved with the geographic area. 

On page 94. the document states that 2000 AAOT (Average Annual Oaily 
Traffic) is the capacity for a two-lane rural road. Under i deal condition 1 
this is a true statement; however, many of the roads in rural Montana and 
North Dakota are constructed to less than ideal conditions- Additionally, 
average operating speeds are reduced when conditions approach one-half 
of capacity (i.e., 1000 AADT-ideal conditions). Since many of the section; 
of road listed in the DEIS's alternatives apprcach and exceed full capacit; 
and almost all sections are projected to exceeJ cue-half capacity, this 
_ indicates more study should be performed. 

We would suggest that this document be reviewed by both the Montana 
Highway Department and the North Dakota Highway Department for their 
analyses of the traffic situation and general cormients. 



-TS^^M— - 



»* Fred Hemper 



721 South 6 Avenue 
Bozeman, MT 59715 
406-587-1767 
September 23, 1982 
/ 



13 



**■>.'■ 

,*, I, 



Davrd Darby, Project Manager 
Fort Union Project 
Bureau of Land Management 
222 north 32 Street 
r.O. Box 30157 
Billings, MT 59107 

Dear Mr. Darby: 

This comment is prompted by the Draft Environmental Impact 
Statement for the Fort Union Coal Region, U.S. Department ot 
the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, July 1982. 

This suggestion is dwarfed by the many major considerations 
addressed in the impact statement, but it could be of importa 
to some individuals. Proposed out-of-pit haul roads located 
outside tract boundaries do not appear to follow section or 
property lines. It would be better if they did, rather than 
bisecting land farmed as a unit. 

Sincerely, 

.*,■-'/ ' ■ 
Jean A. Roll 



2-2 



UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT t***~^ ' 

Memorandum •*""""'" 



September 28, 1982 



Field Supervisor, Ecological Sen 



USFwS, 8il lings, HT 



We have reviewed the subject document and believe the potential impacts 
from the proposed actions on fish and wildlife habitats within Htontana 
are adequately described. 



^u#,Vk 



cc:R0(RD), FWS, Denver. CO 
Director, I1DFWP, Helena, HT 
FWS, OEC. Washington, DC 
ES Supervisor. Bismarck, NO 



Buy V S Swg$ BenJt Rt^lariy on ih, Pjyrcll Savings Plan 




United States Department of the Interior 



■11 $£P~l*d2 



David Darby, Project Manag. 
Fort Union Project 
Uureau of Land Management 
Billings, Montana 



Acting Associate D 
Review of Draft En 



ctor. Onshore Minerals Operations 
onmental Impact Statement, Fort Union Coal 



14[ 



The Minerals Mdnagement Service has reviewed the subject draft environmental 
impact statement (ULISJ both at headquarters and in the field, we find that 
the report adequately presents the coal resources of the area and the environ- 
nental consequences for each of the alternatives presented. 

lowever, we feel that appendix A, entitled "Federal Laws Affecting Coal 
Development and Energy Conversion," should address the Mineral Leasing Act, the 
"ederal Coal Leasing Act Amendments, the Federal Land Policy and Managemeni Act. 

nd the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, among others. 

Thank you for the opportunity to review this DEIS. 



UiUJ*' A 



Andrew V. Bail 



QcdL 

ey / 



BEFORE THE 

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR 

BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT 



In the Matter of: 

PUBLIC HEARING CONCERNING THE 
FORT UNION ENVIRONMENTAL 
IMPACT STATEMENT. 



TRANSCRIPT OF 
PROCEEDINGS 



Tuesday, September 28, 1982 
7:30 p.m. 
Civic Center 
Beulah, North Dakota 



APPEARANCES; 



AUGUST KELLER, Hearing Offi 



INDEX 



Speakers : 

John Christiano 
Jerry Perdaems 
Martin Schock 
Walter Ruzzo 
Randolph Nodland 



2-3 



PROCEEDINGS 
MR. KELLER: I chink we can get started, folks. I 
think we will get started. 

I would like to just say good evening to all of you. 
My name is August Keller. I am Governor Olson's representative 
on the Fort Union Regional Coal Team. 

The coal team has been busy with reviewing the pro- 
posed leasing targets and this evening's meeting or this 
evening's hearing is one step in a very long process outlined 
by Che Department of Che Interior to ultimately lease coal in 
the Fort Union Region. 

I guess it's important to point out that the hearing 
this evening is a hearing to Cake testimony on the Fort Union 
Coal Team's Environmental Impact SCatement which has been 
developed and Che six leasing alternatives that have been 
identified by the Fort Union Coal Team for the Fort Union. 

There is a couple of housekeeping announcements that 
I would like to make with respect to how things are to be 
handled this evening. First of all, this is a formal hearing 
to take testimony from any interested party, both written and 

1 testimony, on the issue. The primary issue is the Environ 
mental Impact Statement which has been developed and che leas- 
ing alCematives which have been ouClined in the Draft Environ- 
tal Impact Statement. 

We asked as you came in that you fill out a card 









' 


indicacing as Co--indicating whether or not you will be offer- 




- 


ing oral testimony or offering written testimony. We will be 




:1 


using those cards and I would like to have them put into the 




4 


order in which they were filled out so that we will allow the 






testimony to be offered in thaC sequence. 




11 


We have also indicaCed chat we wanted a limitation 




- 


on the oral testimony of a ten-minute duration. If you are — if 




Ill 


you have a prepared statement and it requires much more than 
ten minutes to read we would like to — as long as you have a 
prepared statement and as long as you are going to file the 




11 

13 
14 
15 


prepared statement we would like to have you highlight that 
prepared statement in your oral comments rather than--than 
present the entire paper orally. 

The meeting is designed to take testimony. It is not 
a debate forum. We will simply take your oral and written 




in 

17 

•ji 


testimony. 

The testimony will be recorded in the Federal 
Register and your word or your ideas will be presented to the 
proper authorities through that vehicle, but the--the--the 
meeting this evening is not designed to debate the issues as 
such. 

Okay. One other point I guess I need to make before 
I turn the rostrum over is the fact that there will be another 
hearing that the Fort Union or the BLM is sponsoring on Chis 
same topic. It will be held tomorrow evening in Clendive. 



















5 
Okay. The first person that we have to offer testi- 




a 


mony tonight is Mr. John P. Christiano with the National Park 




:I 


Service. 




* 


MR. CHRISTIANO: I am John Christiano, Chief of 






Permit Review and Technical Support Branch, Air Quality Divisio 




'• 


National Park Service. 




i 


I originally scheduled this visit to Beulah in order 




s 


to appear at the State of North Dakota permit hearing on Basin 




■' 


Electric's proposed Antelope Valley Station Unit No. 1 at the 




hi 


high school here tomorrow night. At that permit hearing I will 




n 

12 

i:i 


present the September 15, 1982 determination by the federal 
land manager to Basin Electric's proposed new facility as well 
as five other proposed new facilities whose permits are cur- 




14 
IS 
10 

1(1 
Jl 


rently the subject of state hearings, will not adversely affect 
Theodore Roosevelt National Park or the wilderness portion of 
Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge, both Class I areas under the 
Clean Air Act. 

In the Department of the Interior, the assistant 
secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, Mr. G. Ray Arnett 
(sic), exercises the Secretary's authority as federal land 
manager for National Park Service and U. S. Fish and Wildlife 
service areas. I directed the National Park Service's techni- 
cal review on which the assistant secretary's determination of 
no adverse impact was based. I would like to present the 
assistant secretary's determination with its supporting docu- 





15 



mentation for the record tonight. 
MR. KELLER: Thank you. 

MR. CHRISTIANO: When the Bureau of land Management 
released the air quality supplement to Its Draft EIS on coal 
leasing and development In the Fort Union Basin, questions we 
raised as to whether or not Bl-M's analysis was consistent wit 
the assistant secretary's determination of no adverse impact. 

When we learned that BLM had scheduled a hearing on 
the Fort Union Coal Draft EIS in Beulah on the night before the 
state's permit hearing for Basin Electric, I was asked to c< 
to Beulah a day early in order to attend tonight's hearing. 

My remarks tonight have a limited purpose: To 
address the relationship between the air quality discussion and 
BLM's Draft EIS and the National Park Service's air quality 
analysis in the determination of no adverse impact on Theodore 
Roosevelt National Park and the wilderness portions of the 
Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge. 

I will explain in my testimony tonight BLM's air 
quality discussion In the Draft EIS Is not inconsistent with 
the National Park Service's determination of no adverse impact 
from the proposed facilities now seeking state permits. 

The apparent difference in the agency's conclusions 
merely reflects the differences in the purpose, scope and sub- 
ject matter of the two studies. 

At the outset then it is important to understand that 



2-4 







7 
BLM and NPS analyses were not designed for the same purpose. 








Very simply stated, the BLM document is a planning document 






» 


intended to be used for leasing decisions whereas the NPS 






4 


analysis is source-specific and is used for permitLing 








decisions. 






■• 


More specifically, the National Park Service per- 








formed a source-specific determination under the Clean Air Act 






« 


aid the NPS Organic Act based on modeling of emissions from the 






" 


existing major sources and predicted emissions from the six 






,„ 


proposed facilities currently under state permit review. 






» 


The NPS examined the six proposed facilities and 




15 


a 


found no adverse impact on the Class I areas. 




u 


The Bureau of Land Management, on the other hand, 






,4 


performed a broad environmental review under NEPA on the poten- 






IS 


tial impacts on air quality of regional coal leasing and 






11. 


related development based on modeling of emissions from pre- 






IT 

IK 

1*1 


dicted — from existing facilities plus predicted emissions from 
currently-proposed facilities plus potential emissions from 
foreseeable future facilities. 

The Bureau of Land Management analyzed these facili- 
ties and found the potential for air quality impacts on the 
park. Given the different purposes, scope and subject matter 
of the two studies, their conclusions are not inconsistent. 






The National Park Service is confident that the six n< 
facilities that are currently seeking permits to construct from 













the state will not have an adverse impact on the park or the 
refuge wilderness. These facilities are Basin Electric Power 
Cooperative's proposed 500 megawatt unit expansion to the 
Antelope Valley Electric Generating Station, Warren Petroleum' 
proposed expansion of a natural gas processing facility, Nokot; 
Company's proposed coal-to-methanol plant, Minnesota Power and 
Light's proposed 500 megawatt electric generating station, 
Amoco Production Company's proposed natural gas processing 
facility and Phillips Petroleum Company's proposed natural gas 
processing facility. 

As to any future facilities, however, such as those 
other facilities included in BLM's Draft Air Quality Analysis, 
National Park Service cannot say at this time whether these 
future facilities will have an adverse impact on the park with- 
out comprehensive study and review of the particular proposed 
sources and their predicted emissions. 

The Clean Air Act provides the opportunity for this 
study and review in the new source review permitting process. 
Section 165(D) of the act protects the air quality-related 
values including visibility in Class I air quality areas like 
Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Under this section before 
any major emitting facility may obtain a permit to begin con- 
struction the National Park Service must examine the impacts on 
the park. If the assistant secretary determines that a future 
Llity will have an adverse impact on the park that facility 





9 




. 


would not be granted a certification of no adverse impact. 




- 


No major facility that has applied for a permit to 




» 


date has the potential to impact the park adversely and no 




' 


major facility that could potentially impact the park adversely 






will be able to obtain a permit in the future without a vari- 




• 


ance from the governor or the president. 




16 


ID 

1 ■ 

IB 


As a second and final point tonight, I would like to 
say a word about what constitutes an, quote, "adverse impact" 
under the Clean Air Act. BLM's Draft EIS notes that coal 
leasing development may trigger potentially significant adverse 
visual impacts. Whether and to what degree visibility will be 
impaired by a proposed source is an essential part of the 
National Park Service's review under Section 165(D). 

In accordance with the definition of adverse impact 
established by the Environmental Protection Agency and the 
National Park Service, this review includes not only intensity 
of the predicted visibility impairment, which BLM has done, but 
also the duration, frequency and time of the impairment. 

If BLM applied the established definition of adverse, 
its discussions on potential impacts would have been better 
focused. 

Environmental Protection Agency defines an adverse 
impact on visibility as visibility impairment which interferes 
with the management, protection, preservation or enjoyment of 
the visitor's visual experience of the park. 






RAUCN 5 h 00 than WPORT.NG 





























10 






1 


The regulations clearly make a distinction between 








visibility impairment which is defined as any humanly percept- 






•' 


ible change, which both BLM and the Park Service find can occur 






' 


from increased emissions, and adverse impact which is defined 








as visibility impairment which occurs to such an extent or with 






« 


such intensity, duration or frequency as to interfere with the 








preservation of the area or with the visitor's visual enjoyment 






- 


of the area. 






» 


The National Park Service adds that any impact on the 




16 


.0 


park outside of visibility or predicted visibility is adverse 






11 


if it diminishes the park's national significance, impairs the 






12 


structure and functioning of its ecosystems or impairs the 






13 


quality of the visitor experience. Thus, an impact on visi- 






• 


bility is not necessarily significant or adverse just because 






i'i 


it is perceptible by an observer. 






ii. 


We suggest that BLM include these factors in their 






'■ 


air quality analysis for the Final EIS. The determination of 






"■ 


whether any visibility impairment from future proposed sources 






" 


will be adverse is, of course, one made by the assistant 






20 


secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks in Section 165 in the 






' 


new source review process. 




22 


The National Park Service is now reviewing BLM's 




■■:, 


Draft EIS and the supplemental air quality report and will 




» 


submit more-detailed comments before the end of the extended 






comment period. 






R*UCH SHORTHAND REPORTS 











2-5 



17 



ii 



MR. KELLER: Thank you. A couple of other announce- 
ments in between. One is that we do have a court recorder tha 
is taking your testimony down, and I think that one other thing 
If there are questions that are raised we do have the BLM staff 
here and I guess I just want to make the point that I am not 
the resident expert on all of BLM coal leasing program, but w 
do have an extensive BLM staff here that will be of assistanc 
if we--if we do have a problem. 



The 



xt card or the 
ed Jerry Perdaei 



t person asking to offer 
Stark County Impact 



ftss 



Jerry Perdaems. I farm and 
ing on behalf 



MR. PERDAEMS: My n 
ranch in Western Stark County and speak th 
of the Stark County Impact Association. 

The Stark County Impact Association is an organiza- 
tion that's dedicated to the wise use of our mineral resource 
and the preservation of our agricultural economy and lifestyl 

We have examined the Fort Union Draft EIS and will 
concentrate our comments on the Zenith Coal Tract in Western 
Stark County. In our opinion, the Zenith Tract should be 
omitted from consideration for leasing in 1983, '85 or at any 
future date. 

We feel that the EIS strongly supports some of our 
concerns about the negative impacts that will occur if the 
Zenith Tract is developed. Because of the impacts, the Fort 



17 



18 



12 

Union Coal Team ranked the Zenith Tract last out of seventeen 
tracts ranked in the EIS. Despite this low ranking, the Zenith 
Tract is included in three out of the six alternatives, giving 
it, we feel, a significant chance of being leased, and we have 
not forgotten that the Interior Department has doubled the 
amount of coal that the Regional Coal Team suggested be 
offered in the Fort Union Region. 

One of our concerns is that--the impact of mining on 
ground and surface waters in that area. The Zenith Tract is 
situated so that it could greatly affect the water supply of 
Dickinson. On Page 106 of the Draft EIS states that if the 
Zenith Tract is mined the water in Lake Patterson will drop 
below water quality standards and that the quantity of water ii 
the lake may also be affected. 

In addition , shal low ground -water sources up to two 
miles around the perimeter of the mine site may be destroyed 
amounting to approximately sixty square miles outside of the 
tract itself. This could quite possibly destroy the public 
well systems of both Belfield and South Heart as well as some 
of the privately-owned wells in the area. 

Although coal companies are required by law to 
replace wells destroyed by strip mining, those people outside 
Of the mining area who have lost their wells have had some 
trouble proving in court that the well loss was due to strip 
mining. Even if the well is replaced, the new well will 













13 








probably reach down to the Fox Hills Formation at significant 




18 




cost, approximately $20,000, but this being a one-time obliga- 




J. \J 




tion with no regard to the costs of maintaining these wells or 






_' 


drilling new ones as they are needed. 




19 


1G 


Another area that we feel is of concern is the air 
quality. Dickinson, South Heart and Belfield will all be 
affected by dust from surface mining and pollutants from coal 
conversion plants. South Heart and Dickinson are directly 
downwind of the mine site with South Heart only a mile from the 
eastern boundary. The western line edge of the tract won hi 
border the City of Belfield. 

The EIS indicates that the national standard for sus- 
pended particulates will be violated for all the leasing 
alternatives. In addition, the amount of sulfur dioxide and 
ozone pollution will increase. Research has shown conclusively 
that these pollutants are dangerous to human health as well as 
agricultural production. In fact, studies indicate that sub- 






IX 


stantial crop losses are already occurring in North Dakota from 






_" 


air pollution. 






-'" 


The Stark County Impact Association also has some 
social and economic concerns in the event of a large energy 




20 




project on the Zenith Tract. Small towns in the area will have 




» 


massive influxes of workers and their families, putting a tre- 






M 


mendous strain on the social fabric and financial resources of 








the communities. Experience with coal development in Mercer 






MUCH 5HORTH.N0 OEOORT.NG 






















20 



County has taught us that the impact money has been too litt 
and too late to adequately cope with these problems. Local 
property owners usually end up bearing a large share of the 
fiscal impacts. 

Agriculture has been the mainstay of our economy 
since this land was homesteaded. We have some fine, product 
farm land in Western North Dakota, including thai in and around 



Hopefully our great grandchildren ■ 



the Zenith Tract 
make the same statement. 
Thank you. 

MR. KELLER: Thank you. 

The next person to testify is Martin Schock of the 
North Dakota State Department of Health. 
MR. SCHOCK: Thank you. 

I would like to take a brief moment to preface my 
prepared remarks by noting that the North Dakota State 
Department of Health has for a great many of years enjoyed 
what it regards to be a very fine working relationship with th< 
Bureau of Land Management staff in Dickinson and Billings 
principally. The Department of Health regards that relation- 
ship to have been productive in many areas enhancing the 
department's programs and certainly hopes that it has been of 
2fit to the Bureau of Land Management as well. 

What I would like to do is read to you portions of a 
:er which has been given here for the hearing consideration 



2-6 



21 



15, 

that has been prepared by the staff of the Department of Health 

"The North Dakota State Department of Health has 
reviewed the July, 1982 Draft Environmental Impact Statement 
and the September" of "1982 Air Quality Information Supplements 
document. We have a number of comments following this review 
which are herewith presented at" this hearing. 

The first I would like to read is as follows: "We 
understand the rationale of end-use considerations of coal 
leasing actions in preparation of environmental impact state- 
ments such as this. The leasing of coal is no guarantee that a 
mine-mouth facility will be allowed to use the coal. A site- 
specific review of a proposed project such as a power plant, 
gasification plant or a liqulf ication plant would have to be 
performed and evaluated by the respective permitting agencies 
in North Dakota and Montana as well as" the — "as well as be 
acceptable to the federal land manager in prevention of signifi 
cant deterioration Class I areas and the U. S. Environmental 
Protection Agency. This end-use analysis would take place be- 
fore any of the new facilities, as outlined in this Draft, 
would be considered for a permit to construct or operate. This 
is discussed briefly in the draft document. However, it should 
be reiterated perhaps in the supplemental air quality summary. 
Based upon present regulatory requirements, there is a limit as 
to how much energy development will be allowed or where it will 
be al lowed." 





II 




22 


; i 
; . 
■ ■ 

i ■ 
ii. 
i ■ 


The second comment I chose to read from our prepared 
response is as follows: "The modeling study plan"--I quote 
from the supplement on Page S-ll. "The modeling study plan was 
cooperatively developed by the BUM, its contractor, the sub- 
contractors, the North Dakota State Department of Health, the 
Montana Air Quality Bureau and the U. S. Environmental 
Protection Agency, Region VIII." 

The Department's comment follows: "The Department 
recognizes that it did cooperate with" the "Bureau of Land 
Management during 1981 with preliminary modeling of air quality 
using steady-state short-range models. However, this statement 
indicates that the North Dakota State Department of Health 
approved the study's work plan of using the mesoscale model for 
determining the air quality impacts of the project facilities. 
To the contrary, the Department was never involved with 
developing of such a plan. Department staff were involved in 
two meetings: The first introduced the contractor to 
Department staff" in "April" of "1982 and the second provided 
the preliminary draft analysis for staff review" in "June" of 
'1982. The Department was not offered any opportunity to com- 
ment on the BLM bid solicitation documents before contractors 
were selected on proposed air quality modeling methodologies or 
on the final draft before it was published," as we review it 






_•' 


tonight. 




23 


"■' 


The next selected comment is as follows: "It is 






SAUCH 5MOHTHANO REPORTING 























17 






. 


unclear in this Draft as to what sources were included in the 








regional modeling analysis. On Page 6 of the Draft released 






» 


in July, it was stated that up to 13" in "Alternate 6 new 






• 


facilities would be analyzed in addition to the existing back- 








ground. Only two of the six pending permit applications, Basin 






'■ 


Electric and the Nokota Company, are included in the new 




23 




facilities being analyzed by the Environmental Impact Statement 






• 


However, in Appendix F," which Is titled "'Emissions Sources 






- 


for 1975 Baseline,' the Basin Electric Unit 3 and Nokota 






,., 


facilities are included. Were the emissions from these 






ii 


facilities counted twice? It would appear from review of 








Appendix E," which is "pollutant emissions of the respective 






13 


alternatives, that this is not the case. However, this needs 






» 


clarification." 






IG 

17 
\H 

1 ' 


Next point. The supplement on Page S-14 is quoted as 
follows: "MESOPUFF was adapted by the North Dakota State 
Department of Health for regional assessments in North Dakota 
and was approved in a recent North Dakota State Department of 
Health guideline for long-range air quality analysis," and a 




24 




Our response is "The Bureau of Land Management impact 
assessment is not subject to many of those constraints involved 
in the choice of models and their application in a PSD new 
source review under state and EPA regulations. However, It 
remains desirable to use models recognized by air quality 






»AUC, SHOPTH^O «PORT, N6 





























18 






. 


regulatory agencies as models acceptable and appropriate for 








air quality impact assessments. 






» 


"BLM and the contractor were notified that the use 




24 


* 


of mesoscale air quality model for air quality impact assess- 






ments must be approved by EPA each time it Is used for a PSD 






- 


Impact assessment. Although the" Department "has selected this 








model for mesoscale transport distances, this application 






_* 


requires EPA approval in each PSD new source review." 






■" 


Next quote is from Page S-15. "It is generally 
accepted that impact predictions by these models are accurate 
to within a factor of two." 

1 would interject a comment. This is in reference to 
both the mesoscale model and the annual c limatological model 






14 


CDMQC that was used. 




25 


.5 


"A consensus of modeling experts regarding the per- 




» 


formance accuracy of mesoscale models does not exist. The 






» 


Department modified the MESOPUFF model in such a way that it 






w 


better approximates the atmospheric dispersion of the short- 






11 


range models adopted by EPA. Some recent studies suggest that" 






20 


under "the predictions of these — that the predictions of these 






!l 


short-range models, under some conditions, are better than a 








factor of two." 






~< 


Our next comment refers to the discussion of worst 




26 


.4 


case in the supplement. We have In our written testimony five 




35 


quotes, four, correction, four paragraphs that we have quoted 






RAVCH SMOKTHANO REPOKT.NG 











2-7 





19 








from the supplement. I will read some of them. 








"Earlier modeling studies conducted by the North 








Dakota State Department of Health indicated that meteorological 






' 


conditions on July 3rd through the 6th, 1964, result in con- 








sumption of the twenty-four-hour maximum increment for sulfur 






« 


dioxide" in the "Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Unit, 








by existing PSD," was inserted, "sources and those for which 






- 


PSD permit applications are pending." Taken from Page S-14. 






„ 


The report goes on to note on the same page and is 






ii> 


quoted as follows: "It is noted that other meteorological 




26 


ii 
1 1 


episodes not considered in this study could lead to consumption 
by existing and pending PSD sources of PSD Class I increments 
for sulfur dioxide at other Class I areas in the Fort Union 






14 


Coal Region. As an example, the North Dakota State Department 
of Health found that 1977 baseline sources can result in the 
consumption of the twenty-four-hour average S0 ? increment at 
the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, South Unit, during the 
January 10th through 12th, 196*, episode." 

Finally, another quote, in order to maintain the con- 
text of our response, taken from Page S-16: "Therefore, while 
the modeling studies represent worst-case impacts for Theodore 
Roosevelt National Park," the "North" is inserted, "and may 
represent worst-case impacts for other areas in the region, 
such as Indian reservations and wildlife refuges, the latter 
assumption is less than certain." 






„ U =„ S H,„H.»0»,PO.™ 













20 






. 


Our response concerns the following: "The Department 








contends that the worst-case scenarios were not evaluated, with 






< 


good likelihood, for the all Class I areas except Theodore 






< 


Roosevelt National Park, North, and that it appears less than 








certain that the July 3rd through 6th case is, in fact, worst 






» 


case for this area," for these reasons: "First. As noted 








above, the report correctly indicates that the Department found 






, 


that worst-case scenarios differed for each of the north and 






» 


south units of the park. This occurs through the geographical 






: " 


relationship of the sources under consideration with the Class 




26 




"Second. Given the sources used by the Department, 








which were the existing permitted PSD sources and the proposed 






Hi 


PSD sources," which are "not the 1975 baseline sources" of the 
report, "the Department found that worst-case impacts occurred 
under unique meteorological episodes for each of the Class I 
areas evaluated. 

"Each of the proposed project alternatives, 2 through 
6, consist of different source scenarios, therefore, having 
different geographical dispersement of source locations. 

"Fourth. The report does not provide adequate evi- 
dence as justification in support of a conclusion that the 
worst-case meteorological scenario would likely continue to be 
the July 3rd through 5th case for each of the alternatives 2 








through 6." 






RAUCH S»0«tHA« D «^ORT, N6 





















21 




27 


1 1 

VI 

is 

14 

ir, 
ii. 
1 1 

1H 


Next point. The Draft on Page S-16 reads as follows: 
"Regional air quality was modeled with emissions representing 
each of the two non-project baselines, 1975 and 1997 sources. 
The resulting pollutant concentrations for each alternative 
were added to those for the baselines at each point in the 
modeling grid covering the geographical area. The estimated 
background concentration for each pollutant and averaging 
period was then added uniformly to these concentration fields 
for evaluation relative to the ambient air quality standards. 
Page S-16." 

Our concern follows: "The estimated ambient pollutan 
background concentrations are provided in Table 3-2 on Page 
S-15. The estimates were based on years generally after 1975," 
quoted on "Page S-15. Therefore, it appears that the pre- 
existing or background concentrations would," in fact, "repre- 
sent the actual 1975 baseline source contribution to ambient 
air quality. 

"Thus, it seems appropriate to conclude that, given 
the procedure quoted above substantiated by Tables 1-3 and 3-4, 
the 1975 baseline emission sources impact upon air quality is 
included twice. Further, it seems reasonable to conclude that 
the maximum total shown in both tables would be an over- 
estimate of the projected air quality, again given the quote 
above and the presence of both background and 1975 baseline 








source concentrations in these tables." 






•""""" 













28 



22 



And, finally, what we perhaps regard to be one of the 
most significant, and here in support of our response we quot 
five paragraphs from the supplement. I will for the benefit of 
brevity just read our first one, which is taken from Page S-5, 
and it's quoted as follows: "In most of the Fort Union Region 
the annual precipitation pH has been at least until very 
recently in the range of 6 to 6.5 or less acidic than expected 
for precipitation with atmospheric carbon dioxide. However, 
current data being obtained in North Dakota indicate that pre- 
cipitation is more acidic than could be caused by carbon 
dioxide. " 

Our response is lengthy. I will read it all. It 
follows, "In 1980, a Department staffer devoted seven months 
of researching literature which described the precipitation, 
collection, sample handling and storage, laboratory preparation 
of samples and instrument analysis of samples. This extensive 
review of procedures produced the basic protocol now used by 
the Department in the precipitation chemistry project. 

"At the conclusion of that effort, a review of the 
procedures used during 1977 season was conducted. It was 
determined that the integrity of several aspects of these 1977 
procedures was unacceptable and that the pH data of precipita- 
tion provided during the 1977 season was not valid. It is 
important to note that this conclusion was prepared before the 
1981 season. 



2-8 





23 






. 


"Tt is further noteworthy that since that time in 








1980 the Department has not reproduced or referenced the 1977 








data in any of its reports. 








"Because the 1977 data of the Department has been 








determined to be inaccurate, that data cannot be compared to 






« 


1981 data for the purpose of inferring, implying or otherwise 








concluding that a trend is occurring in North Dakota. Thus, 








the implications of an increasing precipitation acidity are not 






■' 


valid. The second annual report of the Department for its 






in 


present precipitation chemistry project notes that the project 




28 


n 

if. 

IC 

17 


has not collected samples for a sufficient period of time to 
begin to examine the possibility of a trend. 

"Recently, many investigators have begun to challenge 
the previous contention that precipitation in equilibrium with 
standard atmospheric gases should have a pH of 5.65. These 
investigators have been suggesting that precipitation in an 
uncontaminated atmosphere may," in fact, "have a pH value near 
5. 

"Certainly, sulfur and nitrogen oxide emissions were 






24 


occurring during the 1981 season. However, the chemical analy- 
sis of those 1981 samples does not provide any ability to dif- 
ferentiate the influence of those emissions on the rainfall pH" 
measured that summer. "The chemical analysis provided a basis 
to suggest by theoretical considerations that increased atmos- 
pheric loading of these contaminants should result in a 






RAUCH SHORTHAND REPOffnNG 



















28 



24 

decreased rainfall pH. However, the study could not, and did 
not, attempt to relate the required amount of increased loading 
to produce a discemable change in rainfall pH." 

Concluding then, "Since the Department of Health 
received the Air Quality Information Supplemental document on 
September 21, 1982, and the Air Quality and Climate Technical 
Report document on September 24th the Department reserves the 
right to submit additional comments" before "October 19th." 

Thank you. 

MR. KELLER: Thank you. 

I guess I would like to just make one additional 
comment. Mr. Schock's comments, oral comments, were abbrevi- 
ated or abbreviated his written report, so it is important to 
note that the oral comments did not completely cover the 
written comments that are being submitted, which is exactly 
what I asked people to do at the beginning of the hearing, but 
I want everyone here to know and allow the record to show that 
the written comments have been submitted. 

The next person to offer testimony is Walter Ruazo o 
Utah International, Incorporated. 

MR. RUZZO: My name is Walter Ruzzo. I am an engi- 
neer in the Environmental Department of Utah International, 
Incorporated, a diversified mining company with coal mines in 
the Western United States. 

We have a substantial interest in the Garrison Tract 



29 



25 



ally 



sted 



the leasing of 



in North Dakota and t 

coal in the Fort Union Region. 

We would like to make three points regarding the 
Bureau of Land Management's Environmental Impact Statement on 
federal coal leasing in the Fort Union Region. 

First, we would like to commend the Bureau of Land 
Management for their fine effort in the EIS of identifying all 
the major areas of concern in assessing the regional impacts 
associated with coal development. 

Second, we support the leasing alternative 3, the 
preferred leasing alternative selected by the Fort Union 
Regional Coal Team, which calls for the leasing of 632.8 
million tons of federal coal for new production. 

Finally, on the issue of wet land reclamation, Utah 
International recognizes the importance of wet lands as wild- 
life habitat but strongly believes that not only can wet lands 
be successfully reclaimed but that mining and reclamation pro- 
vide an opportunity for enhancement of the wet land resources. 

I would like to briefly discuss each of these points. 
My first point reflects our belief that the Bureau of Land 
Management has put forth a fine effort in preparing the 
Environmental Impact Statement. Our staff has reviewed the 
document and has found that the major technical areas of con- 
cern have been adequately identified, addressed and analyzed 
in a thorough and objective manner. 





26 




. 


The Bureau of Land Management has done a commendable 






job in the difficult task of assessing regional impacts 




" 


associated with the development of coal within the Fort Union 




' 


Region. 






We will be submitting more-detailed written comments 




" 


on the Environmental Impact Statement on a later date. 






Secondly, we support the preferred leasing alterna- 




» 


tive of 832.8 million tons of federal coal in 1984, 1983, which 




■' 


includes the leasing of federal coal on the Garrison Tract. 




10. 


This level of leasing will insure free competition and allow 




» 


the marketplace to determine allocation and development of the 




12 


coal resources of the region. 




,:, 


The proposed leasing target will provide for the 




H 


creation of a pool of coal reserves prior to development that 






will allow for strategic planning by industry. This reserve 




,c 


pool will give industry more flexibility in meeting an 






unexpected increase in demand, a sudden shortfall in supply or 




,» 


a shift in inter- regional demand. 




30 


« 


My final point refers to an issue that is of concern 
to us in the development of the Garrison Tract, wet land 
reclamation. It is our strong belief that wet lands can be 
successfully reclaimed and that mining and reclamation provide 
an opportunity for wet land enhancement. Many wet land 
ecologists agree that if a similar contour and surface reten- 
tion capability is restored natural succession will restore 






B .UC, S HO-T H1NO P E P OT ™ G 











2-9 





27 






. 


wet land in fifteen to twenty years. This practice could be 






- 


accelerated with the proper use of reclamation procedures such 






< 


as topsoiling, seeding, transplanting and fertilization. Wet 






' 


land enhancement can be achieved by combining a series of small 








scattered wet lands in the course of reclamation to form one 








large deeper wet land. This would provide approved wildlife 




30 


. 


habitat for deep-water ducks such as redheads and canvasbacks 








which are declining in the area while at the same time increas- 






" 


ing the efficiency of farming operations by reducing the number 






in 


of small scattered wet lands which interfere with efficient 






" 


farming methods. Thus, it is clearly within our technical 






'■ 


capability not only to reclaim wet lands but to address 






u 


regional wet land concerns and to enhance wet lands and 






14 


optimize them to benefit certain featured wildlife species. 




IS 


We want to thank you for the opportunity to express 




lb 

17 


MR. KELLER: Thank you. 

The next person to offer testimony is Mr. Randolph 




111 
Jl 


Nodland representing the Dakota Resources Council. 

MR. NODLAND: My name is Randolph Nodland, and I 
farm and ranch in Dunn County, and I am past chairman and board 
member of the Dakota Resource Council and speak on their behalf 

I am also a member of the Dunn County United 




H 


Plainsmen, a group of fifty farmers and ranchers living in and 






around the area of Nokota's proposed methanol plant. 

DAUCK SHORTHAND BEPOHTING 





31 



28 

T am appearing here tonight to voice my concern aboul 
the coal leasing policies of the Department of Interior. It 
seems that that policy is only to deliver a great amount of 
coal into the hands of industry without considering whether 
that coal is really needed or whether the Department of Interii 
is to receive fair market value when it is leased. 

The recent coal sale in Wyoming is a good example, I 
believe, because the coal market is soft. The public was cheal 
out of fair market value for the coal leased. Of thirteen 
tracts offered for sale two received no bids, eight received 
one bid and only three had competitive bidding. I think there 
is a potential for that same fiasco to happen in the Fort Unior 



ale. 



There currently is about sixteen and a half million 
tons of coal already leased that is available for industry to 
develop, and it seems incredible that the level of new leasing 
that has been proposed is even being considered by anyone. 

In the past we have been told by the Bureau of Land 
Management that not much of the sixteen and a half million ton: 
is feasible to mine. I would like to point to a 1981 Office ol 
Technology assessment, this document here, report done for the 
Congress of the United States. The OTA study points out that 
only five percent of the leased federal reserves appear 
undevelopable. Uncertainty surrounds around fifteen to twenty 
percent because of factors such as transportation, the level of 





29 






. 


synfuels development and other circumstances. 








The OTA study goes on to state that annual growth 








rates for electricity have dropped substantially and may stay 








at a range of 2.5 percent to 4.1 percent annually assuming an 




31 




economic upturn in the next few years. 






■ 


Finally, the study says that ninety-eight percent of 








this sixteen and a half million tons is located in two coal 








regions In the Northern Great Plains and seven coal regions In 






» 


the Rocky Mountain coal province. I think that this certainly 






in 


points out that the West is doing its fair share. 




» 


The OTA report concludes that synthetic fuels cannot 




ii- 


compete in the marketplace with gas and oil and would have to 




13 


depend on Government incentives and according to the report 




14 
IS 


there will be very little synfuels production in the next ten 
years. 




32 


., 


If development were to take place in North Dakota at 
the level that the BLM projects one can only conclude that the 
leasing of federal coal would bring a new series of requests to 
the Health Department for waivers to air quality laws. There 
is plenty of evidence that acid rainfall is becoming a serious 
problem in our country because of the burning of fossil fuels. 








Canada is becoming more and more upset with the United States 




33 




because of the light reaction on this problem, and I would like 
to state that I don't think that the impact study addresses the 
alternatives to the leasing of the federal coal very adequately, 











33 



-10 

Just today, and I would like to point this out, ju 
today on the newscast at noon, the media reported on an ethanol 
plant that was going to be built at Walhalla, North Dakota, and 
this plant was getting a $20,000,000 loan, and I assume that's 
the cost of the plant, and this plant would produce 10.000,000 
gallons of ethanol, grain alcohol, per year, and t did a little 
calculating on this, and a plant this size for the cost of a 
synfuels plant, roughly $3,000,000, you could build 150 plants, 
ethanol plants, in North Dakota, and each plant—this plant, 
according to the news media, would provide fifty-seven jobs. 

Well, these 150 plants would provide, excuse me, 
8,550 jobs whereas roughly a synfuels plant is providing about 
3200 jobs or something like that during construction and much 
less during operation, and these 150 plants would provide 
something like a hundred and three thousand barrels of ethanol 
per day. and this contrasts, I think, to the plant at Dunn 
Center that's being proposed, I think, something like 83,000 
barrels per day of methanol and 3,000 gallons of some gasoline 
blend of some sort, so I--I would like to point that out. 

Think of this in North Dakota if there were to be 150 
plants this size. I don't know if that's feasible or not, but 
the jobs that would be provided and the benefits to the farmers 
In the state—almost every farmer in the state would benefit 
from the grain sales to these plants, so. as I said, I don't 
think that — that the alternatives to leasing have been con- 



210 





31 




34 


15 


sidered very well, and one other thing which concerns me very 
much, as Mr. Perdaems has pointed out, is the ground-water 
problem when mining occurs. This is going to affect me in 
Dunn County, and I would like to reiterate his comments on this 
because to the general public when you hear these comments 
that, well, the coal company has to supply you with a new 
source of water. Well, this is just a start, because it does 
nothing for you in the future. 

The cost of these wells down to the Fox Hills, as 
Mr. Perdaems stated, twenty, $30,000, you know, is something 
that most farmers could not bear. Once the coal company is 
gone and you have to drill new wells and maintain these wells, 
with the economic conditions, why, this would break a lot of 
people, and I think that there has to be some provision in the 
law to take care of that. 






ir, 

in 
in 


If my son wants to farm or my grandson, well, he is 
going to have to come up with this kind of money to drill new 
wells to provide water, and this isn't fair. 

This one-time obligation that the coal companies have 






a 


sounds good to the general public but it's--it's just a start 






21 


so that's all of my comments tonight, and I thank you for-- 






MR. KELLER: You are welcome. 




*• 


I would like to ask those people that offered comment: 




* 


if you would like to leave your written statements up here we 






would like to have those statements if you would like to have 

MUCH SMOHTHANO BEPOBTING 





















32 




. 


them left here. 






I guess that concludes all of the statements that I 




■■' 


had an indication were going to be made. I would like to at 




' 


this time ask if there is anyone in the room that came here 






with the intention of offering a formal oral comment at this 




'■ 


hearing. 






While we wait for a response on that, I would like to 






also mention that the deadline for written comments on the EIS 




■' 


is October 8th with the exception of the air quality dimen- 




,» 


sions, which has a deadline of October 19th for written formal 




" 


comments to be presented so that they can also be recorded in 




12 


the record. 




11 


Okay. With that is there anyone in the room that 




» 


would like to offer formal oral comment at this time? Okay. 




IS 


Not seeing anyone, I guess I would like to just say thank you 




v. 


to all of you for showing the interest. I do know that the 




« 


coal team is vitally concerned about the concerns expressed by 




,» 


everyone. They will certainly be very carefully considered by 




13 


the coal team, and I am sure that the comments are going to be 




-_'l 


reviewed and considered not only by the coal team but the 
Department of the Interior at the time that the final leasing 




n 


levels are established. 

With that I again would just like to say thank you 
for coming. Have a safe trip home. 

(The hearing was then concluded at the hour of 











run. 



8:30 p.m., this 28th day of September, 1982.) 

This is to certify that the attached proceedings 
before the United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of 
Land Management, in the matter of a public hearing 
the Fort Union Environmental Impact Statement, at the Civic 
Center, Beulah, North Dakota, on Tuesday, September 28, 1982 
were held as herein appears and that this is the original 
transcript thereof for the file of the Department or Commiss 



rtified Shorthand Reporter 

and 
stered Professional Reporte 



TESTIMONY OF JOHN CHKISTIANO 

AIR QUALITY DIVISION, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE 

PUBLIC HEARING ON DRAFT EIS ON FORT ONION COAL REGION 

BEULAH, NORTH DAKOTA 



SEPTEMBER 28, 1982 
the Permit Review ai 



I am John Chrlstlano, Chief 
Air Quality Division, Nation 



-.•■;■ 



I originally scheduled this visit to Beulah In order to appear at the State of 
North Dakota permit hearing on Basin Electric's proposed Antelope Valley Station 
Unit 13 at the high school here tomorrow night. At that permit hearing, I will 
present the September 15, 1982, determination by the Federal Land Manager 
that Basin Electric's proposed new facility, as well as five other proposed new 
facilities whose permits are currently the subject of State hearings, will not 
adversely affect Theodore Roosevelt National Park or the wilderness portion of 
Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge, both class I areas under the Clean Air 
Act. In the Department of the Interior, the Assistant Secretary for Fish and 
Wildlife and Parks. Mr. G. Ray Arnett, excercises the Secretary's authority 
as Federal Land Manager for National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
areas. I directed the National Park Service's technical review on which the 
Assistant Secrertary's determination of no adverse Impact was based. 1 would 
like to present the Assistant Secretary's determination, with Its supporting 
documentations, for the record tonight. 

When the Bureau of Land Management released the air quality supplement to Its 
Draft CIS on coal leasing and development In the Fort Union Basin, questions 
were raised In the press as to whether or not BLM's analysis was consistent 
with the Assistant Secretary's determination of no adverse Impact. When we 
learned that BLM had scheduled a hearing on the Fort Union Coal Draft EIS In 



2-11 



iked 



night before the State's 
come to Beulah a day early 



hearing for Basin Electric, I 
der to attend tonight's hearing 



My remarks tonight have a United purpose; to address the relationship b 
the air quality discussion In BLM's draft EIS, and the National Park Seru 
air quality analysis In the determination of no adverse impact on Theodor 
Roosevelt National Park and the wilderness portions of Lostwood National 
Wildlife Refuge. 



35 



As I will explain In 
draft EIS le not Inc 

apparent difference 
in the purpose, scop 

Is a planning 
NPS analysis 



^stiraony tonight, BLM's air quality discussion Ii 
eat with the National Park Service's determlnat 
: proposed facilities now seeking State permits. 
agencies' conclusions merely reflect Che dlffe 



; U bje. 



■ of 



tudii 



is important to understand that the BLM and NPS analyses 
he same purposes. Very simply stated, Che BUI document 
Intended to be used for leasing decisions, whereas the 
specific and is used for permitting decisions. More 



specifically, the National Park Service performed a source-specific determinate 
under the Clean Ur Act and the NPS Organic Act based on modeling of emissions 
from existing major sources and predicted emissions from the six proposed faci- 
lities currently under State permit review. The NPS examined the six proposed 
facilities and found no adverse impact on the class I areas. 

The Bureau of Land Management, on the other hand, performed a broad environmen- 
tal review under NEPA of the potential Impacts on air quality of regional coal 
leasing and related development based on modeling of emissions from existing 



35 



facilities, plus predicted emissions from currently proposed facilities, plu: 
potential emissions from foreseeable future facilities. The Bureau of Land 
Management analyzed these future facilities and found the potential for air 
quality impacts on the park. 



lfferent purposes, scope, and subje 



of the two studle. 



luslo. 



sis 



onfident that i 



facilities that a 
will not have an . 



The National Park Service 

currently seeking "permits to construct" 

impact on the park and the refuge wllden 

These facilities are: 

1. Basin Electric Power Cooperatlv. 
to the Antelope Valley Electric 

2. Warren Petroleum's proposed expi 
facility; 

3. Nokota Company's proposed coal-to-methanol plant; 

It. Minnesota Power and Light's proposed 500 MW electric generating 



i proposed 500 MW unit ei 
derating Station; 



5. Amoco Production Co( 



; processing facility; 



6. Phillips Petroleum Company's proposed natural gas processing facility. 

As to any future facilities, however, such as those other facilities included 
In BLM's draft air quality analysis, the National Park. Service cannot say at 
this time whether these future facilities will have an adverse impact on the 






tudy and review of 






36 



The Clean Air Act provides the opportunity for this study and review In the 
new source permitting process. Section 165(d) of the Act protects the air 
quality related values, including visibility, of class I air quality areas 
like Theodore Roosevelt National Park. 

Under this section, before any major emitting facility may obtain a permit to 

an adverse Impact on the park, that facility would not be granted a cerltflca- 

No major facility that has applied for a permit to date has the potential to 
Impact the park adversely, and no major facility that could potentially Impact 
the park adversely will be able to obtain a permit In the future without a 

As a second and final point tonight. I would like to say a word about what con- 
stitutes an "adverse impact" under the Clean Air Act. BLM's draft EIS notes 
that coal leasing and development may trigger "potentially significant adverse 
visual Impacts." Whether, and to what degree, visibility will be Impaired by a 
proposed source Is an essential part of the National Park Service's review node 
section 165(d). In accordance with the definitions of "adverse Impact" estab- 
lished by the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Park Service, 
this review Includes not only the Intensity of the predicted visibility Impair- 
ment, which BLM has done, but also the duration, frequency, and time of the 









Impairment. Had BLM applied the established definitions of "adverse," Us 




discussion of potential impacts would have been better focused. 




The Environmental Protection Agency defines an "adverse Impact on visibility" 




,. -.I.1U1U, ,.p.lr«„i Aid. IM.rf.r.. -1th ,h. „„.„««„,, prot.ct.on. 








The regulations clearly make a distinction between "visibility Impairment", 




which Is defined as any humanly perceptible change, which both HLM and NPS find 




can occur from increased emissions, and adverse impact", which is defined as 


36 




JU 


duration or frequency as to interfere with the preservation of the area or 




with the visitor's visual enjoyment of the area. 




The National Park Service adds that anv^ Impact on the park is adverse if it 




(t) diminishes the park's national significance, (2) impairs the structure and 




functioning of Its ecosystems, or O) Impairs the quality of the visitor exper- 




ience. Thus, an impact on visibility Is not necessarily significant or adverse 




Just because It Is perceptible by an observer. 




We suggest that BLM Include these factors in Its air quality analysis for the 




final EIS. The determination of whether any visibility Impairment from future 




proposed sources will be adverse Is, of course, one made by the Assistant 




Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks in the section 165 new source review 




_>">««>• 


The National Park Service Is now reviewing BLM's draft EIS and the supplemental 


air quality report, and will submit more detailed comments before the end of 


the extended comment period. 

5 



2-12 



37 



38 



TESTIMONY OF THE STARK COUNTY IMPACT ASSOCIATION 
FORT UNION EIS HEARING, BEULAH, ND 
SEPTEMBER 28, 1982 



My name is Jerry Perdaems, I farm and ranch in western 
Stark County and speak today on behalf of the Stark County 
Imapact Association. 

The stark Counly Impact Association is an organization 
e use of our mineral resources, and the 
preservation of our agricultural economy and life: 

We have examined the Fort Union Draft EIS and will con- 
cent! ate our omments on the Zenith Coal Tract in Western 

inty. In our opinion, the Zenith tract should be omitted 
from consideration Tor leasing in 1983, 1985 or at any future 

We feel that the LIS strongly supports some of our concerns 
about the negative impacts that will occur if the Zenith Tract 
is developed. Because of the impacts, the Fori Union Coal Team 
ranked the Zenith Tract last out of 17 tracks ranked in the EIS. 
Despite this low ranking, the Zenith Tract is Included in 3 out 
of the G alternatives, giving it a significant chance of being 
leased . We have not rorgotten that Interior doubled the amounl 
of coal that the Regiona iifl suggested be offered in the 

Fori Union Region. 

One of our concerns is the impact of mining on ground and 
surface waters. The Zenith Tract is situated so that it could 
greatly sffei i tin water supply of the City of Dickinson. Page 
106 of the Draft EIS state* thai U Vi act is mined 

the water in Lake Patterson will drop below water quality 



2. 




standards, and that the quantity "1 water in the Lake may also 




be degraded. 




In addition, shallow gound water sources up to 2 miles 




around thi pei lm< ter of the mine site will be destroyed — 




amounting to 50 square miles outside of the tract itself. This 




could quite possibly destroy the public well systems of Belfield 


■3Q 


and South Heart, as well as many privately owned wells. 


DO 


Although coal companies ire required by law to replace 




wells destroyed by stripmining, those people outside of the 




mining area who have lost their wells have had trouble proving 




in court that the well loss was due to stripmining. Even if 




the well is replaced, the new well will probably reach down to 




the Fox Hills formation at a cost of approximately $20,000. 




But this is a one time obligation with no regard to the costs 




of maintains these wells or drilling new ones as they are needed. 




— Another area of concern is air quality. Dickinson, South 




Heart, and Belfield will all be affected by dust from surface 




mining and pollutants from coal conversion plants. South Heart 




and Dickinson arc directly down wind of the mine site with 




South Heart only a mile from boundary. The western 




edge of the mine tract borders the City of Belfii Ld 


*3Q 


The EIS indicates the the national standard for suspended 


JJ 


particulates will be violated for all the leasing alternatives. 




In addition, the amount of sulfur dioxide and ozone pollution 




will increase . Research has shown conclusively that these 




Hants ar< dangerous to human health as well as agricultural 




production. In fact, studies indicati that substantial crop losses 







39l 
40 



dy occurring in North Dakota from air pollution. 

The Stark County Impact Association also has some social 
and economic concerns in the event of a large energy project 
on the Zenith Tract. Small towns in the area will have massive 
influxes of workers and their families, putting a tremendous 
strain on the social fabric and financial resources of the 
communities. Experience with coal development in Mercer County 
has taught us that impact money has been too little and too 
late to adequately cope with these problems. Local property 
owners usually end up bearing the brunt of the fiscal impacts. 

Agriculture has been the mainstay of our economy since 
this land was homesteaded. We have some fine, productive farm 
land in western North Dakota, including that in and around the 
Zenith Tract. Hopefully our great grandchildren can make the 









^ 

s 


NORTH DAKOTA 


$£h 


STATr DEPARTMi NT OF HEALTH 


gs 


Sun Op.tol m A K Lomnwn M0 RPE 




Biunwck. Nonh Dakota 58505 Slate Health Oflkw 




Environmental Health Section 








1200MiwouriAveniM 




Biimwck. North Dakota S850I 


September 27, 1982 


Buree 


u of Land Management 


P.O. 


Box 30157 


Billi 


ngs, Montana 59107 


ATTENTION; Mr. Lloyd Emmons 




Acting Project Manager 


Gentl 


emen: 


The North Dakota State Department of Health has reviewed the 


July 


1982, Draft Environmental Impact Statement and the 


Septc 


mber 1982, Air Quality Information Supplemental document. 


We he 


ve a number of comments following this review which are 


here*. 


ith presented at the Beulah, North Dakota Hearing. 


41 




1. We understand the rationale of end-use considerations 

of coal leasing actions in preparation of environmental 
impact statements such as this. The leasing of 
coal is no guarantee that a mine mouth facility 
will be allowed to use the coal. A site-specific 
review of a proposed project such as a power 
plant, gasification plant, or a liquif ication 
plant would have to be performed and evaluated by 
the respective permitting agencies in North Dakota 
and Montana, as well as be acceptable to the 
Federal Land Manager in Prevention of Significant 
Deterioration (PSD) Class I areas and the U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency. This end-use 
analysis would take place before any of the new 
facilities, as outlined in this draft, would be 
considered for a permit to construct or operate. 
This is discussed briefly in the draft document, 
however, it should be reiterated perhaps in the 
supplemental air quality summary. Based upon 
present regulatory requirements, there is a limit 
as to how much energy development will he allowed. 






or where it will be allowed. 


£„,„„„„,„,„, 


tn ,„ onmtnul Env.room.r.u. E n «„ onrfl efital Wain rVanrSui 1 ft 


EMorcemmi 


En B lnttrtnt Sanitation M.mwmen. ft B™«.ch PoUuikm C=n„o> 




?owi4-»4s 701 U4 ;jh: jot ?ja. jaw joi IM-23S4 



213 



September 27, 1482 



September 27, 1982 



42 



43 



44 



It should also be pointed out that the qeneric 
facilities studied in this draft are assumed to 
have emission control devices and subsequently 
emission rates similar to the types of facilities 
which have been permitted to date. This does not 
take into account technological advancements which 
could take place over the next 10 to 15 years 
before a specific type plant is operated at a 
specific lease. Tn that sense, this draft may be 
over-estimating the air quality impacts, however, 
for the purpose of estimating future possible 
impacts, we feel it is better to be on the conserv 
side. 



"The modeling sti 
by the BLM, its i 
the North Dakota 
Montana Air Qual: 



Comment 



dy plan was 
State Depar 



cooperatively developed 
:hc subcontractors, 
:ment of Health, the 
ind the U.S. Environmenta 

I." (Pane S-ll ) 



that 



id ■- 



Of Hi 



The Department recog 

with BLM durino 1981 

air quality using st 

However, this statem 

Dakota State Departm 

study's work plan of usin 

for determining the air qu 

project facilities. To th 

was never involved with de 

Department staff were invo 

the first introduced the c 

staff (April 1982) and the 

preliminary draft analysis 

1982). The Department was not offered any opportunity 

to comment on the BLM bid solicitation documents 

before contractors were selected, on proposed air 

quality modeling methodologies, or on the final 

draft before it was published. 



2-2 >." (Page 



did cooperate 
ary modeling of 
rt range models, 
that the North 
approved the 
the mesoscale model 
ity impacts of the 
contrary, the Departme 
loping of such a plan. 



econd pi 



44 



45 



46 



47 



Comment 








The figu 


-e shown indica 
fluctuation of 
measure of soi 


es a drought index, which 
annual precipitation, but 
moisture balance which 


Draft 








(Appendix F)." (Page S-121 


compiled 


"Regional air quality was modeled with em 
representing each of the two non-project t 
{1975 and 19Q7 sources)." (Page S-16) 


asolines 



■i 



It is apparent that the title of the table for 
Appendix F is misleading and that the inventory 
shown includes both of the two non-project baseli 
The table does not distinguish those sources whic 
were in each of the baselines. 



were included in the regional modeling analysis. 
On Page 6 of the draft released in July, it was 
stated that up to 13 (Alternate 6) new facilities 
would be analyzed, in addition to the existing 
background. Only two of the six pendino permit 
applications. Basin Electric and the llokota Company, 
are included in the new facilities being analyzed 
by the Environmental Impact Statement. However, 
in Appendix F "Emissions Sources for 1975 Baseline", 
the Basin Electric Unit 3 and Nokota facilities 
are included. Were the emissions from these 
facilities counted twice? It would appear from 
review of Appendix E (pollutant emissions of the 
respective alternatives) that this is not the 
case, however, this needs clarification. 

Draft 

"MESOPUFF was adapted by the North Dakota St.ite 
Department of Health for regional ascssments in 
North Dakota and was approved in a recent North 
Dakota State Department of Health quideline for 
long-range air quality analysis (MDSDH, 1982)." 
(Page S-14 ) 



of Land Management 



September 27, 19e2 



September 27, 1982 



47 



48 



49 



The BLM impact assessment i3 not subject to many 
of those constraints involved m the choice of 
models and their application in a PSD new source 
review under state and EPA regulations. However, 
i t remains desi rable to use model s recog ni zed by 
air quality regulatory agencies as models acceptable 
and appropriate for air quality impact assessments. 

BLM and the contractor were notified that the use 
of mesoscale air quality model for air quality 
impact assessments must be approved by EPA each 
time it is used for a PSD impact assessment. 
Although the NDSDH has selected this model for 
mesoscale transport distances, this application 
requires EPA approval in each PSD new source 



Draft 

"The MDSDH version of MESOPUFF was modified by the 
ECOS study team to model both point and area 
source emissions and to simultaneously predict 
impacts for the four modeled pollutants throughout 
the study region." (Page 3-14) 



Pespon 






The Department is not aware of any peer 
these modifications by recognized experts in air 
quality modeling. The analysis of short-term air 
quality impacts and the results indicated in the 
report appear, in part, to be dependent upon these 
modifications. A completed peer review would have 
provided the experts' perception of the technical 
applicability of these modifications. 

Draft 

"It is generally accepted that impact predictions 
by these models are accurate to within a factor of 
two." (Page S-15) 



of modeling experts 



49 



50 



51 



th 



xist. The Depart 
n such a way that it 
tmospheric dispersion 
dopted by EPA. Some r 
predictions of the 
conditions, are b 



nt modi f ied 



he MESOPUFF model 

short-range model S 
tudies suggest that 
t-range models, under 



tha 



Draft 

"There are only two locations (Bis 
Glasgow) within the entire study r 
upper level meteoroloqical data ar 
." (Page S-16) 

At the request of the contractor, 
provided him with a copy of the me 
data base the Department was uti li 
of the mesoscale model. That data 
data from A other rawinsonde stati 
which is Rapid City. The Departme 
the Rapid City location would have 
reliability and accuracy of the re 
analysis for ELM. The report does 
why data for the Rapid City statio 

Draft 



e Depar 


tment 


orologi 


cal 


nn for 










of 


believ 


es that 


mprovec 


the 


Its of 


the 



■Ear 


i er model i ng 


studi 


es co 


nd 


cted 


>y the NDSDH 


indi 


rated that me 


eoro: 




1 


ondit 


ons on July 


3-6, 


1964, result 






:ion of 


he 24-hour 


max! 




for s 


ulfur 


d 


oxide 


TRNP-North 


unit 


by existing 


PSD > 


sourc 


es 


and those for which 


PSD 


aermi t applications 






(Page S-14, 


unde 


rlined words added 











is noted that other meteorological episodes 

considered in this study could lead to consumpti 
existing and pending PSn sources of PSn Class I 
rementa for sulfur dioxide at other Class I 
as in the Fort Union Coal Reaion. As an example, 

NDSDH found that 1977 baseline sources can 
ult in the consumption of the 24-hour average 

increment at the TRNP-South unit during the 
uary 10-12, 1964, episode. (Page S-14) 



ale models does not 



"Only wors 
these are 
acceptable 



were evaluated, 
in determining 
(Page S-15) 



bee 



2-14 



Bureau of Land ! 



September 27, 1982 



51 



Si]h )f, 



ll 



"Therefore, while the modeling studies repr 
worst-case impacts for TRNP (-North) , and m 
represent worst-case impacts for other area 
the region, such as Indian reservations and 
refuaes, the latter assumption is less than 
(Page S-16, underlined words added) 



The 


Depart* 


ent con 


tends 


that the w 


srst-c. 


se s 


e n a 


were not ev 


aluated 


with 


good 1 


ke 


ihood 


for 


the 


all 


Class 1 


areas 


except 


TRNP-N 




td tha 






appears les 


s than 


-ertai 


n that 


he 


July 


-6 case 



ct, worst-case for this area. 

As noted above, the report correctly 
indicates that the Department found that 
worst-case scenarios differed for each 
of the North and South units of the 
TRNP. This occurs through the geographi 



e 1 a 



r.shi 



nder 



. w 



ith the Cla 



I 



e sources used by the Department 
re the existing permitted PSD 
and the proposed PSD sources 

1975 baseline sources), the 
nt found that worst-case impacts 

under unique meteorological 



ach of the Cla 



T 



Each of the proposed project altern 
2 through 6, consist of different s 
scenarios, therefore, having differ 
geographical dispersement of source 



Tt" 


e repor 


does n 


>t pr 


>vide a 


dequ? 


i e 






tden 


-e is justi 


icat 




support 










on that 


the 






.' 


oro 


BC 


enar 


O V 


ould li 


cely 


;ontim 


e to 


be 


the 


Ji 


ly 3 


-5 < 


ase for 


each 


of the 


alternativ 


2 


r hi 1 


gh 


6. 
















September 27, 1982 



52 



53 

54 



(1975 


and 


1997 soi 


rces 




—The resul 


ting pollu 


concor 


tra 


ions fo 




i f 


altern 


ive we 


re added t 


those 


for 


the baseli 


ies 


at 


each 


point 


in the 


modeli 


ng grid cov< 


ri 


iq 


the 


qeoq 


aphica 


1 are*. T 


estims 


ted 








on for 


each pol 1 


and a\ 


eraging per 


od 


WA 


s then added un 


iformly to 


these 




entrati' 




ie 


Ids 


for 




ion relati 




AAQS." (P* 


.,-■ 


S- 


16) 








Respor 


se 

















The estimated ambient pollutant background 
are provided in TaMe 3-2 on Page S-15. T 
estimates were based on years generally af 
(Page S-15). Therefore, it appears that t 
existing or background concentrations woul 
the actual 1975 baseline source contribute 
ambient air quality. 



Tin; 



Table 



rlude 



eluded 



ms appropr 

e quoted above substanti 

nd 3-4, the 1975 basclin 
sources impact upon air quality is i 
twice. Further, it seems reasonable to conclude 
that the maximum total shown in both tables would 
be an over-estimate of the projected air quality, 
again given the quote above and the presence of 
both background and 1975 bas< 



the 



table 



te and federal regulations for the prevents 
significant deterioration provide that the 
rt-term (3- and 24-hour) increments can be 
ceded only once per year. The increments a 
en in Table 2-3 on Paaes S-9 of the BIS doc 
note, that the document does not indii 
one exceedance of the short-term inc 
owed by these regulations. 



- ii.i 



DO] 



1 979 . Apparent ly, the 
Coal Region CIS were un 
expands upon the work a 
phase effort. 



n, the Department compl 
search of emissions of 
al-fired power plant in 
uthors of the Fort Unio 
ware of a report which 
d conclusions of the fi 



55 



September 27, 1982 



Draft 

"In most of the Fort Onion Region, the annual 
precipitation pH average has been, at least until 
very recently, in the range of 6.0-F.5, or less 
acidic than expected for precipitation with atmosphe 
carbon dioxide. However, current data being 
obtained in North Dakota indicate that precipitation 
is more acidic than could be caused by carbon 
dioxide — ." (Page S-5) 



"The pH of pu 
accepted 



er at equi libriu 
tandard pressure 
be 5.65." (Page S-36) 



"Analysis of samples collected between April and 
December 1981 indicates mean pH values somewhat 
lower than had previously been estimated or extrapo 
based on data from locations outside the state 
(NDSDH, 1982)." (Page S-36) 

"However, if the mean pH values as measured are 
indicative of a trend toward increasing acidity, 
the buffering capacity (of surface waters) will 
eventually be consumed and pH levels may decrease 
to the point that would indicate serious effects." 
(Page S-36, underlined words added) 

■However, based on the studies by the North Dakota 
State Department of Health, which indicate widespre 
incidence of significantly acid precipitation, and 
in view of terrestrial and aquatic systems which 
could not withstand long-term trends of increased 
acidity, impacts in the region are indeed possible, 
." (Page S-37) 






980, a Department staffer devoted seven 
hs of researching literature which described 
precipitation, collection, sample handlina an 
age, laboratory preparation of samples, and 
rument analysis of samples. This extensive 
ew of procedures produced the basic protocol 
used by the Department in the precipitation 
istry project. 



At the conclusion of th 
procedures used during 1^77 



ffo 



of the 



ureau of Land Management 



55 



September 27, 1982 



It was determined that the integrity of several 
aspects of these 1977 procedures was unacceptable 
and that the pH data of precipitation provided 
during the 1977 season was not valid. It is 
important to note that this conclusion was prepared 
before the 1981 season. 



It 



ewortliy that, since that 
ent has not reproduced or 
any of its reports. 



Because the 1977 d. 
determined to be inaccura 
compared to 1981 data for 
implying, or otherwise co 
occurring in North Dakota 



alid. 



The so. 

present precipi 



f the Department has been 
rate, that data cannot be 
or the purpose of inferring 
concluding that a trend is 
Thus, the implications 

eport of the Department 



has 



olle 



try proje 



mple 



the 


possibil 


ity of a trenc 






Ret 


sntly, ma 


ny investigators have beat 


n to challen 


th« 


previous 


contention t! 


at precipiti 




equ 


librium 


with standard 




gases should 


hav 


> a pH ol 


5.65. These 


investigatoi 


s have been 


suggesting that precipita 


ion in an ur 


contaminated 


atmosphere may have a pH \ 


alue near 5 




r. i 


ainly, s 


ulfur and nit 


oaen oxide t 


missions 






ng during the 


1081 season 




the 


chemica] 


analysis of 


hose 1981 sa 


mples does 


not 


provide 


any ability to different!,: 


te the 


influence ol 




infall pH. 


The 


chemical 


analysis proi 


ided a basis 




by 


theoretic 


al considerat 


ons that inc 


reased 




jspheric 


loading of these contamina 


nts should 




lit in a 


decreased rainfall pH. However, the 


study could 


not, and did 


ot, attempt 


to relate 


the 


required 


amount of increased loadi 


ng to produc 


a d 


scernabl 


e change in r. 


infa) 1 pH. 




Dep 


irtment c 


f Health rece 


ved the Air 


Quality 


in S 


iDplement 


al Document o 


September 21, 1982, and 


*!i 


.y and CI 


imate Technics 


1 Report Doc 


ument on 


24, 


the Depa 


rtment reserve 


s the riant 


to submit 



Informal 
the Air ' 
Septembe 
additional comments by Octobe 



ntal Health Secti 



2-15 



56 



Statement of Randolph Nodland, Dunn Center, ND 

Fort Union Draft Environmental Impact Statement Hearings 

Beulah, ND, September 28, 1982. 

My name is Randolph Nodland. I farm and ranch in 
Dunn County. I am past chairman and a board member of the 
Dakota Resource Council, and speak on their behalf. 

i am appearing here tonight to voice my concern 
about the coal leasing policies of the department of interior, 
it seems that policy is only to deliver a great amount of coal 
into the hands of industry without considering whether that 
coal is really needed, or whether the department of interior 
is to receive fair market value when it is leased. 

the recent coal lease sale in wyoming is a good example, 
I believe. Because the coal market is soft, the public was 

CHEATED OUT OF FAIR MARKET VALUE FOR THE COAL LEASED. Of THE 
13 TRACTS OFFERED FOR SALE, 2 RECEIVED NO BIDS, 3 RECEIVED 1 
BID, AND ONLY 3 HAD COMPETITIVE BIDDING. I THINK THERE IS 
POTENTIAL FOR THE SAME FIASCO TO HAPPEN IN A FORT UNION LEASE 
SALE. 

There currently is about 16.5 billion tons of coal 
already leased that is available for industry to develop, and 
it seems incredible that the level of new leasing that has been 
proposed is even being considered by anyone. 



56 



57 



Randolph Nodland, p. 2. 

In the past we have been told by the Bureau of Land 
Management that not much of this IE. 5 billion tons is feasible 
to mine. i would like to point to a 1981 office of technology 
Assessment report done for the Congress of the United States. 
The OTA study points out that only 5% of the leased Federal 
reserves appear undevelopable. Uncertainty surrounds another 
15 to 20% because of factors such as transportation, the 
level of synfuels development, and other circumstances. 

The OTA study goes on to state that annual growth rates for 
electricity have dropped substantially and may stay at a 
range of 2.52 TO 4.12 annually, assuming an economic upturn 
in the next few years. Finally, the study says that 98% 
OF THIS 16.5 billion tons is located in two coal regions in THE 
Northern Great Plains and seven coal regions in the Rocky 
Mountain Coal Province. I think this certainly points out that 

THE ^EST IS DOING ITS FAIR SHARE. 

The OTA report concludes that synthetic fuels cannot compete 
in the market place with gas and oil, and would have to depend 
on government incentives. according to the report there will 
be very little synfuels production in the next 10 years. 

if development were to take place in north dakota at 
the level that the bui projects, one can only conclude that 
the leasing of federal coal would bring a new series of requests 
to the Health Department for waivers to air quality laws. There 
IS PLENTY OF evidence that acid rainfall is becoming A SERIOUS 



57 



Randolph Nodland, p. 3. 

problem in our country because of the burning of fossil fuels, 
Canada is becoming more and more upset with the United States 
because of the lack of action on this problem. 



Statement of Albert L. Boeckel, Beulah, ND 


Fort Union Draft Environmental Impact Statement Hearings 


September 29, 1982 


1, Albert Boeckel, Beulah, ND, do object to further 


leasing of Federal coal on the grounds of coal mining's 


effect on agr lcul ture--the nation's number one industry in terms of 


importance to all, and in terms of being the biggest economic 


industry in America. (Kiplinger Agricultural Letter, July 10, 1981) 




My specific objection at this time involves water used 




in agriculture. The Environmental Impact Statement does not 




give a full accounting of the problems involved in replacing 




groundwater losses due to strip-min ing , and minimizes the 




costs and hardships encountered by farmers. I take exception to 




to the Impact Statements conclusions on page 105, from which 




1 quote. "Degradation of the water quality in the near surface 




aquifers will render these aquifers almost useless, and this con- 




flit ion will continue indefinitely However, any wells that are 


CO 


established prior to mining and are degraded by mining activity 


JO 


will have to be replaced by the mining company. This will apply to 




wells inside and outside of the tract or mine area." 




The first sentence is certainly true, but the rest is purely 




a naive assumption that neglects the realities of dealing with 




coal companies. I support my view with my own experience. 




I live one to two miles northeast from where coal was 




extracted and stockpiled in a low spot by Basin Electric Cooperative. 







2-16 



58 



I live on a large hill. Basin employees warned about water veins 
being opened against the large hillside on which my farm and 
wells are located. I was told of water draining continuously 
from the hill, and that wells on the hill could go dry. 

North American Coal Corporation had my wells certified and 
I asked on employee informally about this. He said it should not 
affet my water supply. As time went on, however, I noticed that my 
livestock water pump was running excessively. Thinking I had a 
hole in the pipes or had worn leathers in the cylinder, I let it 
go until I had time to pull the pump out. That is when I found no 
problem with the hardware, but called North American Coal, as they 
had instructed me to if I had water problems. They checked my 
livestock veil and certified it as going dry. 

We farmers and ranchers are constantly being told by industry, 
"Don't worry, sir. If we cause your wells to go dry, we a liable 
and therefore have to make you a new well." So I wanted to know 
from North American Coal what they were going to do. Well, their 
promise still holds. If they are liable for drying wells, they wil 
make new ones or provide alternate sources of water some other way. 
There is a catch however: if they are liable. The company 
turned me down, then sent me to the Public Service Commission, 
who told me on the telephone that I have to prove liability. How 
can I do that? The only thing I have is a history of the well, not 
legal credentials. My mother is still around, aged seventy, who 
attests that it never faltered, not even in the dry thirties. I 
cannot recall us even running low on water. The 1976 certification 
could not even lower the flow one inch with my pump. Three years 



58 



Albert Boeckel, p. 3. 

later, by the spring of 1981, it was going dry. 

North American Coal contends that my water problem is 

not connected to Basin-North American activities in Antelope 

Valley. Their official conclusion is that it went dry because of 

the lack of snowfall in the winters of 1979-1980, and 1980-81. 

Yet, the last time North American Coal checked it in the spring of 

1982, I had had lots of snow and rain. Still the well had worsened. 

My house well is also going dry, even though we use very little 

water in the house. 1 had to haul water for my livestock last 

winter from January, 1982 on through the snow and cold. I dread thi 

coming winter. I have never had such unpleasantry in my life 

I 
as I had in raising cattle after the dams and dugouts froze over. 

So, you can see that repairing damages caused by strip-mining 

are more involved than the Environmental Impact Statement suggests. 

I am against further leasing of Federal Coal until our agricultural 



BEFORE THE 

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR 

BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT 



In the Matter of: 

PUBLIC HEARINC CONCERNING THE 

FORT UNION ENVIRONMENTAL 
IMPACT STATEMENT. 



TRANSCRIPT OF 
PROCEEDINGS 



Wednesday, September 
7:30 p.m. 
Community Room 
Dawson County Courtho 
G 1 end ive , Mon tana 



APPEARANCES: 



RALPH DRIEAR, Hearing Of fie 



Myron Schultz 
Tom Breitbach 
Creg Veit 
Mrs. Bud Steven 
Charles Yarger 
Solvejg Howard 
Marty Holmes 
Nell Kubesh 
Irene Moffett 
Leida Hubing 
Helen Waller 
David Kasten 
Steve Elliot 



217 











3 
PROCEEDINGS 




s 


MP. DRIEAR: We will get started this evening. 




:l 


I would like to welcome you all to this public hear- 




4 


ing on the Fort Union Coal Regional Leasing EIS. My name is 




- 


Ralph Driear. I represent the governor's office, State of 






Montana, and the State of Montana's participation in the Fort 




' 


Union Regional Coal Team. 




» 


The hearing this evening is to receive public testi- 
mony, both written and oral, on the Draft Fort Union Coal 
Leasing EIS and also to receive comments on the Supplemental 




11 

12 


Air Quality Statement which was just recently released by the 
Bureau of Land Management. The public comments will be 




l : 


accepted on the Draft EIS until the 8th of October and the 




14 


comments on the Air Quality Supplement will be accepted until 




15 


the 19th of October. 




Hi 

IT 


I want to say a little bit about the format this 
evening. I want to remind you that this is not set up to be a 
question-and-answer session nor is it a debate session. 

We have a number of oral comments this evening, quite 
a few, and I would ask that because of this that those people 
making oral comments please try to limit their statements to 
about ten minutes in length. If you have rather lengthy 
testimony please try to summarize the testimony for us. 

We have a court recorder here this evening that will 






be taking down all of the oral testimony and transcription 











59 



copies of all of the testimony delivered this evening will be 
available in the future. The comments received this evening 
will be considered by the Bureau of Land Management staff in 
preparing their Final EIS for the Fort Union Coal Leasing 
Program. The comments, I am sure, will also be of interest to 
and be considered by the Fort Union Regional Coal Leasing Team. 
The testimony this evening--I am going to be calling 
names from the cards that have been filled in and have these 
people step to the rostrum, and I would ask that you please 
state your name and who you are representing for the record 
when you do make a written statement. 

At this time I would like to formally open the record 
and begin calling speakers. Myron Schultz, please. 

MR. SCHULTZ: My name is Myron Schultz. I am 
President of Dawson Resource Council, and I am also owner and 
partner of a grain farm near Bloomfield, Montana. 

In the introductory letter in the Draft EIS by State 
Director Penfold, he says, "Testimony received through written 
or oral comments at the formal hearings will be considered dur- 
ing the preparation of the Final Environmental Impact Statement 
No decision on the proposed lease sale will be made until the 
al Environmental Impact Statement is completed." 

On Page 73 it states, "The Regional Coal Tean was 
open-minded on the issue regarding their final recommends b 
the Secretary of the Interior scheduled for January, 1983, 



59 



60 



and was still looking for public input prior to that time." 

Based on the above quotes, which are just two of the 
many quotes I could have stated, it is apparent that public 
input is to have direct influence on final decisions made in 
regards to the Fort Union Region coal. 

Has this, in fact, been the case? When you review 
the public input given at the formal hearings held on May 6th 
and October 21, 1981, and compare that to the Draft EIS it is 
very apparent that the Secretary of the Interior's desires take 
priority over the majority public input in the decisions that 
are made and proposed. 

Then we were told very emphatically at the Wibaux, 
Montana, public meeting on September 1st that the Draft EIS is 
a forewarning >l what is to come, so it becomes very evident 
that we are being subjected to nothing but double-talk, and it 
causes us to seriously wonder if the die is cast, the final 
decision already made and the public meetings and formal hear- 
ings are held merely to comply with federal regulations, so I 
challenge the regional coal team to listen very carefully to 
the public comments made, especially by the people who live in 
the areas proposed for coal mining and related development, and 
then base their final decisions and recommendations on these 



On Page 1 of the 
This means that o 



Oductton in the Draft EIS 
ill be leased to actively 



60 



61 
62 



esponse to 



national energy requirements and not just 
individual companies." This being the case, where is the in 
depth, accurate, detailed, comprehensive study as to the nat 
energy requirements and, therefore, need for the coal leasin 
target? I have asked to see and research this study of need 
numerous times and at several other bearings and have yet to 
receive it. I seriously wonder if one exists. 

When we look at our present glut of coal, the numb. 
of present federal coal leases not developed in any way, the 
Powder River Basin coal leased below fair market value, the 
number of nuclear power plants that have gone belly up, a 
message comes out very clear. That message — there is no sub' 
stantial need for leasing and developing coal in the Fort Union 



As I studied the Draft EIS, I 
many confusing, inaccurate and incomplet 
On Page (>3 is this statement, "There wou 



s appalled at the 
statements and chart? 
not be any addi- 



tional agricultural disturbance — merely alternative areas being 
mined that would otherwise be bypassed in ongoing mining opera- 
tions." 

Further on Page 1U for alternative 3 we read, "These 
losses would not significantly reduce regional agricultural 
production, nor would the agriculture support economy be 
ffected. Within the overall structure of an agricultural 
conomy subjected to fluctuations in supply and demand, interest 



218 







7 
rates and weather cycles, the regional impacts associated with 






- 


energy development within the Fort Union tracts are miniscule.' 






■■< 


Being directly involved in agriculture as a grain 






! 


farmer for the past thirty years, I seriously question the 








validity of the above-quoted statements. To brush off the very 




62 


in 
ii 

i 


great and far-reaching impacts on agriculture as being mini- 
scule is totally absurd. 

Losing or destroying even one percent of the agri- 
cultural production of an area is very significant and no 
amount of compensation by energy development companies will 
offset this kind of loss. The energy compensation is a one- 
time, short-term situation while agricultural loss is a contin- 






l : 


uing long-term program — problem. Excuse me. 






1 i 
IS 


The Draft EIS addresses very inadequately the on-site 
impacts, but it completely ignores the off-site, off-tract 




63 


16 


impacts which are just as severe and destructive, or even more 




» 


so, than the on-site impacts. The only compensation alterna- 






" 


tive is for the property owner to take the case to court. This 






1!> 


alternative just does not solve the problem and it indicates an 






L" 


irresponsibility toward those suffering the off-site tracts. 






M 


The confusing statements regarding reclamation makes 




64 




the Draft EIS hardly credible as a basis for decision making. 




' : 


To quote from Page 41, "Post-mining land use would be the same 






24 


as pre-mining use." To quote from Page 63, "Successful recla- 






25 


mation of wet lands, woody draws and native prairie is yet to 





















8 






. 


be proved." And then to quote from Page 89, "Preliminary indi- 








cation are that agricultural productivity of mined land 




64 


;i 


can be restored." The above quotes indicate we have a long way 






1 


to go in adequate reclamation. Therefore, it is not accurate 








or credible to make statements concerning the success of recla- 








There are many more inaccurate and confusing state- 






ments in the Draft EIS, but for sake of brevity I will suffice 




« 


with the above. I would like to conclude by challenging the 




in 


regional coal team and the others who will be responsible for 




ii 

11! 


the Final EIS to spend some time out in the areas of proposed 
activity and visit with the people who will be directly 




13 


affected both on tract and off tract to get some accurate 




14 


information rather than just assumptions and confusing state- 




IS 


ments. I would also challenge them to look very closely at the 




10 

19 
HI 


need for development before making decisions or recommendations 
I thank you. That's the end of my testimony, and I 

would like to read a very brief testimony for Robert and Norma 

Etzel from Savage, Montana. They could not be here tonight. 
"We have mixed emotions about testifying at this 

hearing. We feel that the majority of the input from the 




. 


public is either ignored or given very little consideration. 
There seems to be so many of these hearings and they do cut 
into valuable time. 




65r 


"As to the effects of mining on air quality, it is 

















9 
only a matter of common sense. With the wind we have in this 








country, and disturbance of the sod will pollute the air, to 




65 


» 


say nothing about the plants burning the coal. Living in a 




4 


southeasterly position of the existing Knift River Mine at 








Savage with our prevailing west winds has given us firsthand 






■ 


knowledge of what happens. Again, common sense will tell you 






■ 


what happens to coal dust in a wind. Could we turn into a 






_« 


black lung area if mining were done on a larger scale? 




66 


» 


"Another area of concern is water pollution and deple- 




10 


tion. How can a natural spring be replaced or a water vein 






11 


reactivated if disturbed? What will the residue from the syn- 




67 


12 


fuel plants do to the grazing and agricultural land? It is our 




13 


understanding that cattle near plants will not feed on the 






L" 


grass. 




15 


"We believe development is essential when there is a 




1C 
IT 


definite need. Liken energy to money. When there is not as 
much, you tend to use it more wisely. At the present, many 
mines have cut back production due to lack of demand. 






ri 


"To date, reclamation in areas has not proven up as 




68 


a 


much of the reclaimed land has not returned to prior usage. 






.'1 


Weeds seem to thrive best in mined areas. 








"In granting permits for plants and mines, there 




69 


-■ ; 


should be a guarantee that energy will be produced. Consumers 




-'' 


should not have to pick up the tab for projects which fail. 








Being in the business of farming, it would be nice if we could 





















l( 


) 


69[ 


pass on the cost of producing crops whether we got anything or 




» 


"We have seen the social impacts of the oil boom in 




< 


the area. Things are now on the slow-down side and many native 






people are feeling the effects. The work forces will just move 








on and upset some other community. We read recently of the oil 
lease sale and are wondering if the huge coal lease sale pro- 




70 


N 


posed at such a time will result in the same give-away pricing. 
This may be a time when leasing less could be better. We 






in 


remember of a leasing in our area in the Sixties on which there 






i i 


has been no development. 




12 


"What are the priorities of mining companies? Profit 




13 


would be our assumption. Our priority is a healthy place to 




14 


live. We do not go begging to mining concerns for their money. 




Ki 


We do the best we can with what we have. That is more than you 




,0 


can say for mining concerns. They are insistent on changing 




17 


our environment by any means they can. Otherwise they would 




18 

l!l 
21 


not always be working to change eminent domain laws to their 
advantage or constantly hounding landowners to sell after they 
have been told no. 

"Couldn't we all consider doing with less in order to 
preserve our air quality, clean water, economic stability, food 
production and irreplaceable natural beauties and wonders? 




24 


"Thank you for your time." 
And thank you. 





2-19 



11 



71 



72 



I MR. DRIEAR: Tom Breitbach. 

MR. BREITBACH: I will furnish a copy afterwards. 
My name is Tom Breitbach, and I live and make a Liv- 
ing fourteen miles northwest of Circle, Montana. 

As a member of the McCone Agricultural Protection 
'■ ,| Organization, I have been involved in studying the industrial 
development of coal since BN proposed the synfuels project in 
•> i Western McCone County. Since the air quality information has 
1 just been released and not everyone has received a copy, much 
I" l^ss had time to study it, I would ask that the public comment 
Ji | period on the EIS be extended for thirty days, 
i- || MAPCO has requested throughout the leasing process 

ii I that impacts to off-site agriculture be studied and inventoried 

14 II BLM has continually assured us that these off-site impacts 

15 j would be addressed, and we have now progressed to the 
Environmental Impact Statement, and these off-site impai 
have not been analyzed. 

The costs of these impacts to agriculture have yet to 



!.. 



red. 



73 



There is absolutely no need for additional federal 
coal leasing. There are already nearly 20,000,000,000 tons of 
leased federal coal most of which Ls not being developed. Coal 
mines which are in operation have reduced their production due 
to reduced demand. Of the thirteen tracts offered for lease 
in the last coal lease sale only two tracts received more than 





12 






i 


one bid, two received none at all, and that whole lease sale is 






- 


presently under investigation by both Congress and the courts. 






1 


Meanwhile, the Department of Interior has relaxed 






i its diligent development requirements in order to prevent 






existing leases from being cancelled due to past over leasing 






and lack of demand. The one coal-fired generator still being 






> planned for this state has been postponed at least until the 




73 


• | mid-1990' s. The nuclear generation plants under construction 

in the Pacific Northwest are being molhbal led and utility 

i" ! customers must pay large rate increases for this mothballing. 






" 


Over thirty percent of the crude oil drilling rigs 






„ 


are setting idle. The inner-mountain power project planned 






i:i 


for Utah is going to be cut in half because the power isn't 














,. 


There is no need for additional coal leasing beyond 






i'. 


leasing maintenance tracts to keep existing mines in produc- 






IT 


tion. If BLM holds a lease sale, it will probably be a bigger 






L» 


failure than the Powder River lease sale just held. 






ji. 


Your studies are very inconsistent regarding the 
population forecast. For instance, for alternative No 3, 




74 


-" 


which includes the Circle West tract, the Draft EtS forecasts 






an increase for Circle of 275 people. The Air Quality Informa- 








tion Supplement forecasts an increase for McCone County of 53 






J4 


people and the SSA for Circle West 2 forecasts an increase of 








2,000 people. 






HORTMANOREPORT.NO 





























13 






i 


BLM continually stresses five factors which are 








necessary to mitigate some of the adverse economic or social 








impacts. One of these is accurate information. Only one of 






< 


the forecasts, 53, 275 or 2,000, should be used for the analy- 








sis. Which one is right? And where is the forecast for popu- 






» 


lation increases due to the proposed BN-BLM swap? 




74 




At the BLM meeting in Circle on August 31st I asked 






some very specific questions concerning the population and 








■ impacts to Circle in the event of the construction of 






'" 


two synfuel plants. Although the economist was absent, I was 






12 

10 

|i. 


assured my questions would be answered. Not having received 
any response by September 18th, I traveled to Miles City to 
speak with BLM personnel and was referred to Loren Cabe in 
Billings, who promised to check on the fiscal data before this 
l waiting for that information, and since I 
have not been corrected or called a liar I must assume that my 
calculations for the impacts on Circle are correct. 




,» 


Tonight I was handed that reply. 




75 


1 


If the proposed coal lease swap between Meridian 
Land and Mineral Company and the BLM goes through two synfuel 
plants will be constructed in McCone County. This EIS does not 
include facts and figures relating to two 85,000-barrel synfuel 
plants in Circle West. Were those social and fiscal Lmpa 
ton ^rcat to even be included? 

Because this information was omitted, I used the 






RAUCH SHORTHAND REPORTS 





















14 






. 


information for alternative 6, as it was very similar in size 








and number of facilities. This alternative shows Circle jump- 






:i 


ing from a base population of 1,000 to a peak population of 






* 


9,000. At the same time I estimated that there would be a 




75 


in 


fiscal deficient of over $22,000,000 for the period of 1987 
through 2000. 

It's hard to believe that the regional coal team 
could possibly recommend a lease and swap which would result in 
this degree of social and fiscal impact. In an attempt to miti 
^atc these rather large impacts, we would appreciate it it the 
coal team would consider requiring that leasees provide front- 






\2 


end monies. 




13 


Thank you. 




14 
15 
in 


MR. DRIEAR: For those of you that have written 
statements with you this evening we would appreciate it if you 
could leave them up here on the front table for us. 

Greg Veit. 

MR. VEIT: My name is Greg Veit. I am Vice-President 
of the Golden Valley Resource Council. 




76 


"' 


I wish to make a statement concerning air pollution 
resulting from the Government's leasing of coal to be used in 
energy plants. This is of interest to the Golden Valley 
Resource Council because the proposed Tenneco coal gasification 
plant is adjacent to our county. Excuse me. 

Use of coal to produce energy is the dirtiest method 






RftUCH SHORTHANO REPORTING 



















2-20 



76 



15, 



now employed. Its ultimate toxicity has yet to be determined, i 
The BLH itself has damned the use of coal not by any expressed j 
opinion but by the facts their researchers have gathered in 
producing their environmental impact statements. 

Congress sometime ago enacted a Clean Air Act and is 
now considering an equally good one which is intended to protec 
the people of the United States from the dangers of air pollu- 
tion. By leasing coal at its preferred alternative the BLM 
is planning for and encouraging additional coal conversion 
plants which will break the air standards set by Congress. 
Expecting to get all the coal they need, three coal conversion 
companies are currently seeking waivers which undermine the 
Clean Air Act, creating a situation in which a Government 
agency, the BLM, is planning development which will oppose the 
will of Congress. Excuse me. 

Proof of this is found in the Air Quality Supplement 
recently mailed out by the BLM. There we will find that for 
all six alternative leasing schedules the BLM studies show that 
the amount of sulfur dioxide in the air would exceed Class I 
standards. Total suspended particulates will exceed the annual 
maximum level allowed anywhere in North Dakota and Montana. 

There are no visibility standards but the thresholds 
established by BLM would be exceeded in both units of the 
Theodore Roosevelt National Park. 

There are also grave potential hazards the extent of 





16 








which are now unknown in the areas of organic compounds, trace 








metals, acid rain, radioactive elements and the effect of 




"7/" 




emissions on weather and climates. A BLM spokes — excuse me. 




76 


1 


A BLM spokesman has said that leasing will take place regard- 








less of the findings. In view of these dangers, it is hoped 






" 


that only enough coal will be leased to supply the needs of 






_ 7 


present plants and those under construction. 






13 


A second area of concern to us in Golden Valley 
County is the economic impact of development of the South 
Wibaux-Beach tract. The impact statement underestimates the 
severity and duration of disruption to the community of Beach 
and the surrounding area should development occur. 

In particular, we take exception to the projections 
of fiscal revenues as portrayed on Page A-18 of the statement. 
The graph projects an initial deficit, then a 1 ,000,000-per- 




77 


»■ 


year surplus beginning in 1992. Information that we have recei 


nd 


" 


from the Tenneco Company, from the North Dakota Legislative 






w 


Council and from the North Dakota Energy Impact Office contra- 






19 


dLctb the findings of the BI.M. 






■u 


At the August 2, 1982 Legislative Task Force meeting 






- 1 


in Beach, the Tenneco representative said, and I quote from the 








minutes of that meeting, "It is likely that mining would not 








Lake place in North Dakota for about twenty years," unquote. 






« 


A study by the Energy Impact Office states as long as the coal 








is mined only in Montana the communities will not receive coal 





























17 






I 


severance taxes, cannot borrow from the Coal Trust Fund and 








cannot receive assistance from the Coal Impact Fund. This 






■< 


leaves Beach with mitigation money from only two sources-- 






' 


front-end money from Tenneco and property taxes. 








The fact is Tenneco has not pledged any mitigation 




77 


•■ 


funds nor have they ever given front-end money to any communi- 




i f 




ties anywhere. This means that Beach is left with property 








taxes alone to pay for improved school facilities, additional 






' 


teachers, new water and sewer facilities, improvements to 






in 


county roads and city streets, maintenance equipment, community 






» 


facilities, recreational facilities and equipment. It is 






i a 


inconceivable that Beach will have a 1 ,000,000-per-year sur- 






J? 


plus within three years of construction startup. 




» 


Any reasonable accounting of the costs and benefits 




ir. 


of development of the South Wibaux tract must conclude that the 




,« 


formidable impacts are not justified by the strip mining to 




» 


produce high-priced synthetic gas. 




,» 


Thank you. 




!!> 


MR. DRIEAR: Ms. Bud Stevenson. 




20 
2\ 


MS. STEVENSON: I am Ms. Bud Stevenson, and I repre- 
sent Bud and Doris Stevenson and the interests of my late 
parents, Charles and Viola Lease, all of Intake. Montana. 






I would like to go on record as opposing further 
development of coal in Eastern Montana at least until there is 
found to be a need for it, not just to benefit big business and 













78 



79 



the coal industries and for money of exporting it. We in 
Eastern Montana and the Dakotas have a way of life all our own 
hard though it may be. Our per capita output of foodstuff is 
great. We produce the best wheat in the world plus other 
grain, sugar beets, cattle, hogs, sheep and many other things. 
Why should we permit the coal industry to take this and our 
clean air and our environment away from us? 

There are many people outside of our community as 
well as in who consume our fine food products and benefit from 
it. The coal industry desires the prime farm land. The bette 
the land the better they say. They claim to reclaim it by 
leveling it. At best that's not reclaiming. We have only 
about six inches of topsoil and very little water. It's not 
possible to get that six inches of topsoil back on Lop. True. 
they may get it to grow weeds, but who wants to eat weeds? We 
tried it in the dirty Thirties. Remember? It was endorsed 
by our Government. The home demonstration agent came into our 
home and showed us how to cook Russian thistles and to build 
furniture out of orange crates. Neither one were any good. 

After development giving jobs to our people? Not so, 
Others will be brought in along with scores of problems for us 
to solve with taxpayer money. We have seen the problems the 
oil industry brought to Richland County. The coal industry is 
much dirtier and in more ways than one. 

Think about these few things. Our land will be 



2-21 



19 



20 



destroyed. Our water will be ruined or destroyed. Our air 
will be polluted. Our social problems will be multiplied. 
Our way of life will be gone. There will be acid rain. There 
ill be wildlife destruction and many more. Weigh all of this 
against a little money for a few. We don't need a lot of coal 
development. Let them finish up Appalachia and Indiana. Let 
them leave Montana alone. You can't forever keep taking land 
out of production and still expect to eat and to feed the 
world. You like to eat. What about your children and your 
children's children? We have a responsibility in that way, tool 
Thank you. 

MR. DRIEAR: Charles Yarger. 

MR. YARGER: For the record, my name is Charlie 
Yarger. I farm and ranch about fifteen miles west of Circle 

ith my wife and my family and my parents in that area that we 
have all-- just about in the middle of that area we have all 

e to know and love as the Fort Union coal deposit. I would 
hate to count up the number of times that I have been to hear- 
ings, informational meetings, briefings and consultations con- 
ning the Redwater MFP or the Fort Union EIS over the past 
eral years. If I ever did I would probably ask myself what 
in the hell are you doing here again, Yarger? 

I can spend one and a half hours reiterating all of 
my former testimony pointing out all of the inadequacies of 
your studies, the double standards you operate under, your 



failure to respond to legitimate landowner concerns and all of 
your own rules and regulations that you have chosen to ignore. 
I could take all of my allotted time and say nothing but I told 
you so, but because this is the last opportunity we have to 
ment on the EIS there are a few more points that I would 
like to make. Don't get me wrong. I don't have any illusion 
that anything I say will make the slightest bit of difference 
to your boss on the Potomac. That is unless, of course, the 
Fort Union Regional Coal Team, citizens and the state govern- 
ments of this area have the courage to say, Mr. Watt, we have 
had enough. What we say won't matter unless we expose the 
Fort Union EIS, the coal lease targets, the federal coal pro- 
m, the new rule changes for what they really are. 

The Secretary of Interior has sold us out and he 
makes no bones about it. The Secretary would do away with land 

er rights. He would do away with due diligence. He would 
do away with the Fort Union Regional Coal Team and the rights 
of state government to have any decision in the development of 
:he natural resources within our boundaries, and this is the 
federalism that we are all supposed to be so in awe of. 
e example of managing the public's resources keeping in mind 
course, multiple use and sustained yield. 

On the 6th of May I testified before the Fort Union 
Regional Coal Team in Miles City and warned of the possibility 
:>ver-leasing and the subsequent speculation that might occur 





1 




1 


I stated that if you made a logical reasonably-sized lease sale 






recommendation it would probably be ignored, and it was. 




: < 


In October I once again testified stating the need 




4 


for federal coal leasing was less now than it was in May. I 






also warned about the proposed changes in the coal program that 




(i 


would virtually eliminate the regional coal team. Since that 




: 


time the Department of Interior has adopted new regulations 




H 


which keep the regional coal teams from having any voice in 




;i 


the future coal lease sales which, of course, thereby elimi- 




id 


nates the states. 




n 


Furthermore, the Department has adopted a new policj 
that will lease coal on the basis of what industry wants for 
reserves rather than how much is necessary to meet true energy 




14 
IS 


needs. 

In the beginning of the Fort Union EIS you discussed 
scoping. All of those areas of concern that need to be 
addressed--air quality, water quality, affect the t... 




in 


wastes on ground water, agriculture, utility corridors, impact 
of communities, inflation, lifestyle changes--they have all bee 
at least addressed or mentioned in general terms, but there are 
no conclusive results from any in-depth studies, nothing that 
can be proven. It's mentioned in scoping and for the most part 
that's as far as it goes. 

The Fort Union EIS studied six different alternatives 
from alternative number one, leasing for maintenance tracts, to 





22 

alternative number six, leasing virtually every available ton 
of federal coal in the Fort Union coal in the Fort Union coal 
deposit. Considering our ability to correctly predict the ac- 
tions of the Secretary of Interior up to this point, I fail to 
see why we even bother studying any other alternative than 
number six. He will, more than likely, recommend five to six 
synfuels plants and two to four power plants for Dawson, 
Wibaux and McCone Counties. 

The Federal Coal Management Program, which regulates 
how federal coal is to be leased, has four primary goals for 
the Department taken from the abstract, Page 3-2, number one, 
quote, "Employ land use planning and effective enforcement of 
environmental Uiws to insure that federal coal is committed to 
production and produced in an environmentally-acceptable mannei 
which is responsible to local communities and landowners 
affected by coal development," end quote. I fail to see how 
leasing a billion tons of coal and devastating local communi- 
ties and landowners can be misconstrued as being responsible. 

Number two, quote, "Assure that sufficient quantities 
are leased to meet energy needs," end quote. We have to hand i 
to the Secretary that time, because he certainly did meet that 
goal unless, of course, you take into consideration the fact 
there is no proven need to lease any more federal coal. 

And, number three, "Assure that federal coal is pro- 
duced in an economically efficient manner with a fair, economy 



2-22 





23 




. 


cal return to the United States for all the coal produced," 






end quote. Consider the Powder lease, the Powder River lease 




: ' 


sale held last spring. Two of the tracts didn't even receive 




■t 


bids and most of the others received only one bid. The 






Secretary gave away millions of dollars of the public's 




'■ 


resources to the coal speculators, a fact so obvious that the 




w 


lease sale is being challenged in court and in Congress right 

A result of the Fort Union coal lease sale will be 
even worse because many of the companies who had previously 




11 


expressed interest in the Fort Union no longer plan on sub- 




j:t 


mitting bids. 

And tht; fourth point, "Emphasize consultation and 
cooperation with state governments in planning, leasing and 




15 


development of federal coal," end quote. Considering what I 




16 


have already stated about the role of state government and the 
regional coal team, I would like to read part of a letter 




20 
21 


written to the Secretary of Interior on August 30, 1982, by 
Covemor Ed Herschler of Wyoming and signed by all the western 
governors. 

The letter stated, "Dear Secretary Watt: On behalf 
of the under-signed governors of the major public-land states, 
I am writing to express our collective concern that our best 
efforts to foster the spirit of your new federalism in the area 






of federal coal leasing, efforts that have produced the first 











80 



successful coal leasing in a decade, are now faltering under 
the changed policies and regulations of the Department of 
Interior. The effect of these changes is to once again 
centralize on the Potomac critical decisions affecting western 
states, decisions that should be made in the region. The 
final regulations governing federal coal leasing that were 
published by the Interior Department on July 30th have reduced 
the role of states in the federal coal leasing decisions. 
Specifically the regulations eviscerate the most vital organs 
for state-federal cooperation, the regional coal teams. The 
reduced role of the regional coal teams and thus the states' 
is directly contrary to the intent of that Department as 
stated in the proposed regulations, quote. 'The changes would 
not significantly alter the role of the regional coal teams.'" 

I would like to commend the governors for defending 
the rights of the states and their citizens. It seems obvious 
aftar using such strong language that they will continue to 
pursue the matter and do everything in their power to see that 
the Secretary of Interior can no longer run roughshod over the 
western states. 

My one concern with the Fort Union EIS and the pro- 
posed June, 1981, lease sale is that there is no need to lease. 
If it is leased it will bt for speculative reasons only. 
Throughout the country plans for synthetic fuels plants, power 
plants and nuclear plants are being dropped and--or indefinite! 



80 



2% 

postponed. The Y (sic) Coal Plant in Wyoming, the Antelope 
Valley Station in North Dakota and the infamous Whoops (sic) 
Nuclear Plants in the Pacific Northwest are all examples. 
Montana mines are operating at sixty percent of capacity. Two 
Montana mines are now in court with their utility customers 
who want out of their coal contracts. Westmoreland and Peabody 
Mines are operating at half capacity. 

Last Sunday's Billings Gazette carried an article 
about Gillette, Wyoming's Hampshire Project, stating the syn- 
fuels project was not needed. It went on to say if it were t 
be built it would lay off workers in Wyoming and in Billings 
and the Denver refiners. Why? Because there is no demand. 
There is no demand. 

The Midwest Power Pool, which is the predominant 
market for Fort Union coal, currently has 8,000 megawatts of 
over-production. That is one-third of their total generating 
capacity. The coal market is declining weekly. In virtually 
every trade press publication or newspaper one can read we 
hear of the soft coal market. That's now for the next ten 
years or for the foreseeable future. 

In McCone County no one has even filed a long-range 
plan. The only possible development in the foreseeable futur< 
Id be if the Burlington Northern-BLM mineral swap, land 
p, fiasco were to take place, and so I ask you if there is 
demand why lease the coal? There can only be one answer. 













2f 








Speculation. 








The multi-national energy corporations of this 








country want the Department of Interior to give them hundreds 








and millions of dollars worth of the public's resources. It 








certainly appears that the energy companies have a way of get- 






'• 


ting exactly what they want from the, current administration. 








Over-leasing and the subsequent speculative abuse 






„ 


by energy companies is not new. In early 1982 Pacific Gas and 








Electric sold their federal leases to Utah, in Utah, to Sun Oil 




80 


» 


for $20,000 an acre. These leases were originally obtained 






11 


from the Government in the nineceen-sixties for $3.70 per acre. 






12 


Last year Peabody Coal sold their federal leases to Shell Oil 






l : 


for $17,000 an acre. Peabody bought these leases in 1966 from 






1 l 


the Government for $3 an acre. This squandering of the public' 






1". 
I (J 


resources in the past is sad, but to do it again on such a gran 
scale as in the Powder River lease sale and the Fort Union 
lease sale would be a national disgrace at a time when unemploy 
ment is at ten percent, the country is on the brink of a 
depression and the people need something to look forward to. 
It is incomprehensible to me for the Secretary of Interior to 
give away forever the public's right to a fair return for their 


1 






resources. 




,,, 


Gentlemen, the Teapot Dome scandal pales in compari- 




LM 


son. 






Thank you. 





2-23 













11 




. 


MR. DRIEAR: After hearing several of the last com- 




2 


ments, I think I would like to say at this point that while I 




* 


am sure many of you have comments on the new federalism and 




4 


the speculative nature of leasing programs I would ask that you 






please limit your comments to the Draft Environmental Impact 




•• 


Statement that we are considering this evening. 




-, 


Ms. Solvejg Howard. 




" 


MS. HOWARD: I am Solvejg Nelson Howard. I am the 




» 


daughter of a person who came from St. Paul, a woman, and took 




IU 


out a homestead in Golden Valley County, and I own that land, 




n 


I am very proud of it and I dislike having it in jeopardy this 
way. 

I make only three points on this and I will give you 




14 
15 


some written material, too. First of all, I question the whole 
series of documents I have gotten and their use of evidence. 
There seem to me to be far too many assumptions and there is no 




81 


u 


bases shown for these assumptions. Authorities seem to be 
mentioned but there is no mention of the exact authorities, 
which authorities and on whose authority are many of the 






_■■■ 


assumptions and assertions made. 




21 


I think, going on to another point, that agriculture 






is probably more important than coal in our future, certainly 




24 


in the immediate future. I think farmers are more important 
than coal persons. I think the farmers are going to feed us in 






this country and the rest of the world and that this is what 

MUCH SHORTHAND REPORTING 













82 



2E 



rgy and 



stop 



most futurists see. We have alternative sources 
I hope that we will use them. 

I will stop right here because I would 
otherwise. Thank you. 

MB. DRIEAR: Marty Holmes. 

MR. HOLMES: Good evening. My name is Marty Holmes. 
I represent Meridian Land and Mineral Company in Billings, 
Montana. I am currently the project supervisor for the pro- 
posed Meridian coal exchange in the Circle West area of McCone 
County. My first comment regarding the Fort Union Regional 
Coal Draft EIS is one to clarify and restate Meridian's per- 
ception of coal development in the Circle West area. 

Earlier this year we supplied BLM with a development 
scenario for Circle West which we felt was the only alternative 
over which Meridian would have direct control should develop- 
ment occur. The alternative we supplied was a plant facility 
to manufacture 2,500 tons or 18,000 barrels per day of methanol 
This number was based on the possibility that our sister sub- 
sidiary, Burlington Northern Railroad, might convert some 
diesel locomotives to methanol and represents the maximum 
quantity necessary for such a demand. As the market stands 
, a plant of this type will not be built. The current 
lomics are unfavorable but should the fuel situation deter- 
ute again in the future, as it has in the past, the 
lomics might change and make methanol conversion a viable 













29 






■ 


plan. 








Any other scenario in the EIS document relating to 








Circle West, including the generic 85,000-barrels-per-day syn- 






1 


fuel facilities, are hypothetical for the purpose of BLM's 




oo 




assessment, and they stated that in the document. We do not 




82 




see development of this magnitude as that most likely to occur. 








and it is hoped the public would keep that in mind when review- 








ing this discussion and associated impacts. Given the lack of 






" 


formal plans and with lengthy permitting requirements, coal 






'" 


mines and conversion facilities probably will not be under 






1 1 


construction at Circle West in 1987 as Table 1-11 In the EIS 






■ 


shows. 






15 

Id 


We commend BLM for its attempt to discuss possible 
impacts of the leasing program in the Fort Union Region as 
currently contemplated. It certainly was no easy task, 
particularly when you consider that it is not really the impact 




83 


i; 


of leasing that the regional document assesses but rather the 
impact of possible development which might occur in the future 
as a result of this leasing action. Given the uncertain future 
market of lignite coal and the poor condition of current market 
it is unlikely that the number of tracts and levels of produc- 
tion comprising the various leasing alternatives studied in the 
document will materialize within the predicted time frames. 

Also, we hope that the public understands that , with- 
in time frames predicted, it is unlikely that corresponding 






M*.l*a.»Mi 















1C 








impacts will actually be generated and that the larger the 








leasing alternative the greater the overstatement of produc- 








tion and resulting impacts is likely to be. 






1 


I should add that we encourage leasing levels large 








enough to promote competition between reserve holders to ensure 








reasonable prices to the consumers. -Again, this lessens the 








direct relationship between leasing levels and expected produc- 




QQ 




We strongly suggest that the BLM take a hard look at 




OJ 


'" 


the projections for coal mining in the region and determine the 






11 


most realistic level of production for selected time frames. 






13 


This should he followed by an estimate of the level of Inpacts 






a 


associated with that production. The Final EIS could use this 






14 

li. 
17 


as a basis for comparison when discussing possible production 
levels from the various alternatives. This arranaernent would 
clearly put impact levels for the full level of production for 
each alternative in perspective to what the BLM really thinks 
is going to happen. Everyone reading the document would have a 
much better idea of what the real impact of the Government 






20 


actions are likely to be. 




21 


On behalf of Meridian, I'd like to thank you for the 






opportunity to comment on the EIS. We hope BLM will consider 




a 


our comments. We feel the proper perspective is missing in the 




J4 


document when comparing realistic versus hypothetical coal 






development. However, BLM has done the best possible job of 













2-24 











31 




. 


addressing impacts for the production levels chosen, especially 




-' 


when site-specific plans for most of the tracts in the region 




:t 


are nonexistent. 




* 


And I would just like to say once again that I know 






there has been quite a bit of controversy over the coal ex- 




ti 


change. We feel that the time is right for the kind of ex- 




7 


change that we have proposed, but we do not, as Mr. Bresler 




^ 


(sic) said, I think it was quoted in the Miles City Star here 




- 


about two weeks ago. if the exchange goes through it does not 




in 


necessarily mean we are actively pursuing development in the 




11 
is 


Circle West area, and it--we don't even see at this time— it 
certainly will not be the magnitude that is discussed in the 

document. 




U 


Thank you. 




IS 
IB 

17 


MR. DRIEAR: Nell Kubesh. 

MS. KUBESii: I am Nell Kubesh. and I have helped my 
husband, John, farm for the last thirty-six years. We are 
concerned about the effects of large strip mines and synfuels 
on our farm, our community and our whole area. First I want 




2\ 


to say that I appreciate your efforts to find out more about 
the effects of synfuel plants on air quality and publishing the 
air quality supplement. However, I find a great deal of data 
needed to assess damages from synfuel plants are unknown. 




■n 


estimated from poor baseline information or contradictory, as 
is acknowledged in your modeling studies. 





84 



32 

On Page S-16, modeling of cumulative twenty-four- 
hour concentration, it states that state standards in both 
Montana and North Dakota as well as the federal secondary 
standard are exceeded in all cases. Yet on Page S-27 it scat* 
that allowable Class II increments are generally not expected 
to be exceeded. 

Also, on Page S-36 it says based on current knowledge 
there can be little doubt that emissions of sulfur dioxide and 
nitric dioxide by-product sources will contribute acidity to 
atmospheric deposition, and, on Page S-J7, due to the signifi- 
cant size of gasification and liquefaction facilities this is 
an area of potential concern and should be more Gritlca] Ly 
evaluated as more studies are completed and as specific coal 
conversion projects are proposed. 

Yet on Page S-M after conceding that more informa- 
tion necessary to quantify the effects of air pollution on wate 
quality is not presently available, the conclusion was on Page 
S-41 that indirect effects on water quality resulting from air 
pollution will likely be insignificant. 

The study of trace elements in coal from North Dakota 
is revealing only in that one year discharges will not cause 
adverse effects on ecosystems in a one-year span, but on con- 
clusions were reached for longer-term effects. Is it not 
reasonable to expect a cumulative effect from the long list of 
toxic elements? The effects of lead, mercury, arsenic, the 





<3 






i 


many varieties of uranium and radionuclides are all known to 








be toxic or carcinogenic to all living creatures and are not to 






• 


be lightly dismissed. 






1 


Acid rain is becoming more and more a national con- 








cern. With more than 140 fishless lakes in Ontario and more 






■■ 


than 100 in Northern New York, 150,000 in Sweden being deter- 






; 


mined to have been caused by acid rain, it should be a prime 






» 


concern in this area. With the disappearance of fish in this 






- 


area we could lose a most lucrative tourist industry. While 






in 


soils in this area tend to be alkaline and will tolerate or 




84 


ii 

IS 


even benefit from a small amount of acid rain, there is no 
consensus or even an estimate of where the danger line is. 

Your study has developed a good basis to work from 
but also raises a great many more questions. While Radon 222 
and 220 were studied and were found to be dispersed by at least 






ll< 

17 


half what happens to the many other uranium compounds which 
were found? And then there was the question about the Radon 






. 


component being transferred to the end product of synthetic 
natural gas. Would it be transferred then to home gas stoves 
and furnaces? 

So my conclusion is that there is not nearly enough 
hard data to justify any of the leasing alternatives except 
number one. The whole area of synfuel development is still 
experimental at this stage of size and scope. Don't you think 
that the pell-mell energy search should have learned something 






d*UCM SHORTHAND HEPOOT.NG 











84 



85 



86 

87p 



34 



the 



. I. 



boom and bust? We are learning, slowly 
perhaps, that Government does not do what is best for ordinary 
citizens. After Government refusal to be responsible for 
deaths in Utah from nuclear testing, can we expect more? Are 
we, in this area, also designated to be guinea pigs to find oul 
the answers to the questions left unanswered? The irony of the 
whole matter is that a new source of energy is not needed now 
or in the near future. Oil companies are worried about subsi- 
dized competition in a slow market and coal companies are min- 
ing more coal than they can market. The American public also 
will be the loser if the public coal is put up for lease at 
this time at giveaway prices, and, finally, I am requesting a 
thirty-day extension for additional comments. 

MR. DRIEAR: Irene Moffett. 

MS. MOFFETT: I am Irene Moffett. can you hear me, 
and I live on a ranch thirty miles southwest of Glendive. 

In the economic section of this EIS draft on agri- 
culture taking just the farming profit of each year for a 
leasee or farmer operation as the only loss is not correct. A 
farmer buys his machinery to match his acreage. When he loses 
some of this acreage due to coal mining he still has to pay fo 
the machinery. Thereby he has this loss as well as his profit 
loss. 

This EIS draft says there will be good reclamation o 
land. Since no land has ever been released from bonding as 



2-25 

















35 






i 


reclaimed 


in the State of Montana, I really don't see how you 






r , 


can put i 


n such a statement. 
So far no one has ever tried reclamation of crop land 






4 


in this s 


tate. One of the hardest things for reclamation is 








getting a 


good cover crop. With that as a problem, how are you 








going to 


start a crop each year? 
Last summer in the Fort Union Coal Region in North 






" 


Dakota a 


noal mining company was proven to be not saving even 






" 


the topso 


l! to use in reclamation. Yet you state as a fact 






'" 


that ther 


; will be separate removal, storage and respreading of 






» 


these soi 


s and the land will be put back together for farming 




Q"7 


'- 


and ranch 


mg in just a few years. What do you base this on 




O / 




when ther 


; is proof that it isn't being done in this very area? 






14 
1G 

21 


"Short-te 
presently 
tion from 
term agrit 
This is nc 

go by? 

do with ct 

you increa 


In your conclusion the first paragraph states, quote, 
"m disturbance would somewhat exceed that acreage 
left bare due to summerfallow. Preliminary indica- 
cotnpleted and ongoing research are that in the long 
ultural productivity of mined land can be restored." 
t very accurate if you go by what has happened to 
land in the past and what else do we or you have to 

In the above paragraph what does summerfallow have to 
al mining? You keep referring to summerfal lowing as 
xample of land not being used. When you summerfal low 
se the amount of grain or food energy in the crop 








RAUCM SKOHTHAfiO BEPOBT1NG 























87 L; 

88 



89[ 



90 



year. In mining you just dec 

is in the shortest supply on , 

I also have a short 



>ta 



e food energy, the ener 
rldwide basis. 

t from Willie Day. 



"I feel that leasing the coal will also commit an 
amount of water to process this coal. There are pending at 
this time claims for a large amount of water in Montana. 
Filings under the Montana water adjudication law. 

"I will submit in writing at a later date the facts 
and figures on this issue." 

MR. DRIEAR: Leida Hubing. 

MS. HUBING: I am Leida Hubing. My family owns land 
within and immediately adjacent to this proposed Burns Creek 
Tract. First of all, I, too, would like to request a thirty- 
day extension on this written comment period. 

At previous meetings and hearings on the need for nei 
coal leasing in the Fort Union area the public has repeatedly 
testified that there is no need for this leasing. I feel that 
this still holds true. I have never seen any studies proving 
that this coal is needed. 

Presently there are almost 20,000,000,000 tons of 
coal under lease. Most of this coal is undeveloped because 

re is no demand. This amount of coal would see us down the 
road fifteen to twenty years even if the demand should increase 

it's very unlikely that the demand for coal will increase 
because there are many reasons for this. 













37 








A few of these are, first, consumers are cutting back 








on their use of electricity and will probably be cutting back 








more and more as the electricity cost rises. 








Two, more and more people are making use of renewable 








energy sources such as solar, wind and water power. 




90 


• 


Three, there are many more natural gas reserves and 
there is more gas in those reserves than the Department of 
Energy originally forecasted due to new technology. This new 
technology will make this expensive synfuel process obsolete 






in 
1 1 


in the future. 

Now, speaking of expenses, we should remember that 
these powerful synfuel plants, expensive as they are, will be 
subsidized by our tax dollars. Yet Secretary Watt insists that 






1 1 


this costly development Is necessary. 






i ■ 


As previously stated, we ranch within this Burns 






16 


Creek Tract. If this development should come to pass and the 
facility on Burns Creek is placed where it's mapped, it must be 
remembered that while the Bureau of Land Management will 




91 


r' 


graciously allow us as landowners our two-bit compensation 




*. 


people adjacent to this area or any other area for development, 






' 


slated for development, will suffer severe negative impacts and 








receive no compensation at all. How severe these impacts will 






-- 


actually be is unknown, and that is one of the biggest faults 






■' 


of the Fort Union Environmental Impact Statement. 




92 




The Bureau of Land Management has not discussed 






"»">»»»»" »°«~»™ 





















38 




92 


i_< 


potential impacts of acid rain, toxic wastes, air pollution or 








water quality degradation. Planners promised to address the 
off-site impacts to farmers and ranchers in their first 




93 




Redwater management framework plan. Such an analysis was 






absent there, and it has been absent from all other publica- 








tions which promised to address this issue. We are still 








waiting for this information. 






Thank you. 






MR. DRIEAR: Helen Waller. 




IU 


MS. WALLER: My name is Helen Waller. I have a few 




11 


general comments to make. 






,:, 


First, I believe it would be helpful if the author of 
the various sections was identified. The reference in the back 
simply states the names or the firms which have been involved 




94 


1 ■ 


but makes no attempt to identify which sections were contracted 
out to whom or which data was generated internally. I think 
it would be extremely helpful to know who is really responsible 






J N 


for which portions of the study. 






" 


Second, I received the air quality supplement nine 




95 


» 


days ago. I have not had a chance to--to even skim the thing 




,M 


and because of its delay I would ask that the comment period be 








extended an additional thirty days. 








And, third, nowhere in the document is the BN-BLM 




96 


» 


swap, third alternative, addressed. An environmental assess- 






ment of that alternative is necessary. 






MUCH SHORTHAND REPORTS 











2-26 





39 




] 


My husband, Gordy, and I farm and ranch between the 




- 


Circle West and the Redwater tracts. We have known since 1975 




> 


that our farm, along with a multitude of others in the HcCone, 




1 


Dawson, Richland and Wibaux Counties in Montana and Golden 






Valley County, North Dakota, was included in a land use plan 




" 


being prepaned by the BLM whose activities would ultimately 






bring us through a series of studies and documents leading up 




, 


to this EIS and on to a scheduled coal lease sale in June of 




■■• 


1983. 




10 


This document is the fulfillment of my every expecta- 




11 

13 


tion. The quality of workmanship is consistent with previous 
publications. It conservatively predicts probable community 
tragedy with the usual candor and draws conclusions firmly 




14 


founded on documented unknowns. 






« 


Throughout the planning process, issues critical to 






11! 
17 


the viability of farms and ranches outside the lease tracts 
have been raised with the BLM, and they promised to analyze the 




97 


Itj 
.'1 


impacts of leasing on agriculture in the Fort Union Region. 
For the record, I am attaching a copy of correspondence- with 
the then Secretary of Interior, Frank Gregg, and also corre- 
spondence that I had with Loren Cabe, who is an economist for 
the BLM in the state office in Billings. 

These promises were made, but in March of 1981 BLM 
called me to a meeting in Miles City to inform me that they 
didn't have the time or the money to address the problem of 






RA UCM SHORTHAND «FO*n N6 





















40 






. 


what would likely happen to farm and ranch operations outside 








the lease tracts. Their studies would be confined to impacts 






> 


on the farms and ranches immediately over the tracts. Now, if 






* 


they would confine their damage, such as air pollution, ground- 








water disruption, invading weed seeds, population increase and 






„ 


toxic wastes to the lease tract, I could accept that scope of 




Q7 




study, but I doubt that that will be the case. 




Z7 / 




Despite the fact that the Federal Lands Policy and 






» 


Management Act requires land-use plans to be prepared on a 






.« 


multiple-use, sustained-yield concept, and despite the fact 






11 

12 

la 


that the Federal Coal Program requires consideration for lands 
which produce food and fiber and even though the Federal Coal 
Program also requires an assessment of the effects of leasing 
on adjacent, non-federal lands, the BLM has chosen not to do so 






15 


Instead, they are satisfied to plead unknown. 




98 


"" ic 


It's kind of like taking the Fifth Amendment. Conse- 
quently, most of the important questions about the impacts to 
agriculture are not answered in this EIS. Questions like how 
far from the mines will ground-water be degraded or lost and in 
what direction? What are the results of reclamation efforts in 
the Fort Union? Can crop land be reclaimed to original pro- 
ductivity? What will be the impacts of transmission line, pipe 
line and railroad rights-of-way on ranch operations? What will 
be the effect of air pollution on crop yield? What will be the 
effects of toxic waste disposal on water quality? How much 





























M 






. 


land will go for synfuels plants, new county and city buildings 




98 


* 


and trailer parks? What costs must taxpayers bear before the 
facility comes on line to ease the burden? These questions are 
not answered in the EIS. Instead the EIS concludes that there 
are too many unknowns to evaluate how off-site impact might 






_« 


affect farm-ranch operations and cost. 






The EIS is full of unknowns. 






» 


Acid rain. The EIS contains only a very general dis- 
cussion of acid rain. It doesn't even attempt to say whether 
or not acid rain will be a problem in the region or downwind 




99 


ii 


in the agricultural breadbasket of the country. The EIS says 






12 

i ■ 


that acid rain will probably increase but, and I quote, "whethe 
the increase will be significant and where it may show up can- 






14 


not be predicted." Really, that's anybody's guess. 






15 


On the subject of toxic wastes, the EIS does not 






1« 


analyze the effects of toxic wastes from synfuels plants on 
agriculture or the general population. Although it describes 




100 


„ 


some possible pollutants, which are dangerous, and many are 
cancer-causing, at very low levels, the EIS gives no indication 
of what or how much pollutants will come out of synfuels plants 
The BLM doesn't know. They simply defer to the EPA who has 






_" 


presently set no standards, has no plans or budget to do so. 






""' 


On health effects of synfuels plants, they say, and I 




101 


24 


quote, "Any increased health costs associated with breathing 
conversion plant emissions are not well documented but could be 






«*UC» S HO B TH*NO nE PO-.T, N(: 





















42 




101 


_, 


significant." 




102 


„ 


Solid waste, and I quote, "It is still unclear 
exactly what solid wastes a gasification plant will produce." 






* 


Air pollution impacts on water quality, and I quote 




103 


:. 


again, "The information necessary to quantify the effects of 




" 


air pollution on water quality in the Fort Union Coal Region 








is not presently available." 




104 


» 


Ground -water. "It is impossible to predict 
accurately how far away from a mined area degraded water will 






11 

12 


Trace elements. The only study going on of trace 
elements from coal-fired power plants in North Dakota showed 




105 


1.! 


no effects during the first year, but no conclusions could be 
reached regarding the long-term effects of arsenic, beryllium, 






If- 


mercury and others. 




106 


11! 


Other unknowns include the fiscal impacts on county 
government which would include school budgets. BLM only 






J" 


figured the impacts to city budgets. 






... 


On the major questions concerning the survival of the 
agricultural industry in the Fort Union Region, the only thing 




107 




we know for sure from this EIS is that if leasing takes place 
the degree of environmental impacts to agricultural operators 
outside the lease tracts is unknown. 




108 


~« 


This document fails to meet its required purpose as 




* 


set forth in the NEPA requirements. Section 1500. IB provides, 











2-27 





4 1 






■ 


and I quote, "NEPA procedures must insure that environmental 






- 


information is available to public officials and citizens 






* 


before actions are taken," and it also states, "The information 




108 


* 


must be of high quality." 




1 \J\J 




They make no--no allowance for this unknown bit. 






'• 


And further in Section 102 of the act, and I quote, 








"Each agency shall identify environmental effects and values in 






H 


adequate detail so they can be compared to economic and techni- 






_j! 


cal analysis." 




10 

11 
I a 

13 


I believe this document fails to do so. 

Meanwhile other significant and pertinent actions are 
taking place. The Powder River lease sale of last April is 
being challenged as well as Secretary Watt's revision of 




14 


various rules and regulations applying to the Federal Leasing 




15 


Law, the Strip Mine Reclamation Act, the Land Use Planning Law 




16 


and the National Environmental Policy Act. 

As evidenced by the actions of Secretary Watt, there 




19 


appears to be one overriding ambition, and that is to deliver 
the valuable public coal resource into the hands of the energy 
industry even though the coal market is depressed, knowing full 
well that markets are not available for potential coal produc- 




» 


tion from existing mines. For the past couple of years, 




.4 


Montana and Wyoming mines have been operating at about sixty 
percent capacity with some utilities unable to meet even mini- 






Tium contractual agreements. 

OAuCH SHORTHAND HEPOOTIHli 













ady 



109 



prudent 
diligeni 
vided ii 



Sixteen billion tons of federal coal a 
ase, much of it not likely to meet due diligence 
ents. This must be an embarrassment to an administra 
ch is hard pressed to find justification for the 
iver and the Fort Union lease sales. 

I contend that in the public interest it is not 
to issue new leases to companies who have not been 
in developing commercial quantities of coal as pro- 
present law. Neither should Congress relax diligenc 



nction speculation and 

it in the public inter 
ale which effectively e 



requirements. That would only 
encourage further abuses. Nor 
offer a multitude of tracts for 
nates competitive bidding. 

If Interior is successful in delivering to energy 
companies the public's coal reserves on a depressed market 
without effective due diligence requirements, I believe will be 
— I believe it would be the most notorious Interior action 
since the scandal of the Teapot Dome. 

MR. DRIEAR: David Hasten. 

MR. KASTEN: For the record, my name is David Kasten, 
a rancher south of Brockway, and I am the President of People 
for Economic Progress. My comments are pretty short here. 

A higher ranking should be given to McCone County 
tracts for the following reasons: The resources, coal and 
water available; the energy companies have indicated their 



i09|; 



there were very few non 
majority of people in 

of this coal developed. 

an article in Billings 



45 

interests in developing these tract 
consents to leasing forms returned 
McCone County would like to see soi 
I would like to quote fn 
Gazette, September 27, 1982. "Colstrip Units 3 and U will 
generate a lot of electricity in a few years but for now they'i 
generating more jobs than any other single Montana project." 

One problem with this coal leasing procedure is that 
it takes too long. I sincerely hope that if for some reason 
economic or court delays pushes this lease sale past the '83 
deadline we do not have to go back and start counting mice, 
and so forth, again. I do believe that we have done enough of 
that sort of thing. 

People for Economic Progress members would like to 
thank the coal team and all involved for the effort they have 
put into this project. 

Now, I received a letter I would like to read here, 
too, from the planner in Miles City, Ms. Barbara Kennedy. 

"Dear David: You and I are not alone in our interest 
in local job development in our part of the state. Jobs come 
from work to be done. Most work comes from the development of 
natural resources. Demand plays its part. Attitude toward all 
this plays its part. 

"You and I, along with most others, can be assured 
that Montanans pin their hopes for growth on natural resources, 



most especially on energy resources. If that sounds bold, take 
a look at the attached article, 'Montanans and Economic Growth. 
The article resulted from 'The Montana Poll.' I quoted 
directly. 

"In that poll. Dr. Maxlne Johnson, reported researc 
As director of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research, 
Dr. Johnson knows of this state's economy. The poll says 
ninety-one percent expect the state to grow in the next five 
years. 

"I read in another report, 'The Montana Energy 
Opinion Study,' that eight percent, a very small group, oppos 
development. The percent favoring coal development is seventy- 
seven percent. Support for gasification runs at seventy-four 
percent. That report states that the folks in McCone County 
are keenly aware of the lack of job opportunities near home. 
Coal will turn that around. 

"I know the market is soft right now. soft for cattle 
wheat, coal, sagging for workers, but we have to go on with 
ranching, farming and families and coal. The United States of 
America has a great future. Certainly we must balance our 
foreign trade. Making them rich has made us poorer. We must 
turn it around. Industry in cooperation with Government has 
that responsibility on fuel. Can we even do it by 1990? 
"For coal, in particular reclamation, there are 
stringent regulations. Montana is tough on the coal industry. 



2-28 





47 




. 


We should be tough and we should be fair — tough but fair." 






Her P.S. she has on here, "When I get held up waiting 




:l 


for a coal train to pass, I sit back and grin--there goes 




4 


$25,000 in taxes I don't have to pay." 






And along with that I would like to submit a study 




'■ 


done by Maxine Johnson she said she would like to have put in 






the record. 




« 


One more thing in here. I don't--I am not sure if 




•■' 


you have the Circle Chamber of Commerce letter yet, but you 




111 


will get it. I understand we have until October 8th to 




11 


submit written, and 1 am sure you will have it before then, but 




12 
13 


I do have another letter that I was asked to read, and it is 
from the Glasgow, Montana, Chamber of Commerce. 




14 


"Dear Sir"— it's addressed to the U. S. Department 




15 
17 


of Interior. 

"Dear Sir: A natural function of any Chamber of 
Commerce is to promote the growth of its community and to 
welcome new business ventures within the area it serves. 

"It is with this purpose in mind we offer our support 
to the Circle Chamber of Commerce in their endeavor to secure 
the very desirable complex known as Circle West to locate near 
their city in McCone County. 

"An important part of the developer's plan calls for 




24 


the securing of coal leases on land controlled by the U. S. 
Government. We lend our voices to those who are petitioning 













48 


i 


your agency to allow leasing of this land with the pleasant 




* 


consequences of turning a rather non-productive area into one 




■' 


offering many jobs and sundry benefits accrued from planned 




4 


venture by private capital. 






"Sincerely, Ron Helland, PresidenL." 




» 


Thank you. 




T 


MR. DRIEAR: Steve Elliot. 




1U 
11 

1.1 


MR. ELLIOT: My name is Steve Elliot. I am here on 
behalf of Wesco Resources, Billings, Montana. 

The following comments reflect the views of Wesco 
Resources on the Draft EIS for the Fort Union Coal Region. 
Our comments for the most part will be directed only to the 
areas considered for leasing in the Circle area which is the 




14 


area designated in Wesco's expressions of interest. 




IS 


Before Wesco presents its specific comments, there 
are some areas that we have noticed that should be corrected. 






« 


These are on Page 19, the Redwater Tract II, the surface map 




110 


i« 


legend key is incorrect. I think you have the state ownership 
and the private ownership color-keyed wrong. Those should be 






i 


reversed. 

On Page 91 the picture showing mule deer, excuse me. 




111 


a 


mule deer, should reflect either Western North Dakota or Easter 
Montana and not Western Montana because I don't think that's a 






j.* 


subject of the EIS here. 




112 




Third, the State Legislature action found in Appendix 






















49, 

B, Pages A4 and A5, should reflect the proper legal cites to 
the new Montana Codes Annotated and not the Revised Codes of 
Montana, 1947, and, finally, in the References section. Page 
R-l, there is no mention of a study done by Westech of Helena 
on the wildlife in the Redwater area of McCone County. The 
report was finished in December of 1981 and submitted to the 
BLM in Miles City. 

It seems to me that if we go to the expense of doing 
that that at least that data ought to be used in your EIS. 

The following comments are specific comments in the 
draft itself. First of all. it's a pleasure to have the 
opportunity to comment on the Draft Fort Union Coal Region EIS. 
To say the least, it's a massive undertaking and Wesco 
Resources, Incorporated, compliments the BLM and its staff for 
their efforts. 

Wesco's following comments are in relation to the EIS 
and its application in the McCone County area where the Circle 
West tracts and the Redwater tracts are located. As the BLM is 
aware, Wesco has been involved in the area for the past nine 
years. Wesco has cooperated with the BLM along the entire 
leasing process and even before the area was to be considered 
for the upcoming competitive federal coal leasing. During this 
time, Wesco has seen the plans for the BN-owned Dreyer Ranch 
change from a fertilizer-from-coal process to a synthetic- 
diesel-fuel project to the latest proposal which involves a 



114 



50 

coal exchange with the BLM. 

The proposed exchange presents a problem for Wesco, 
and we feel it is an improper action on the part of the BLM to 
include the proposed exchange in the EIS process at this late 
date, especially when the BN, like Wesco, has expressed an 
interest to have the coal in the area leased. This exchange 
would have—there is nothing in the EIS that speaks also to 
what happens if this exchange takes place and whether or not 
the resulting tonnages that would be dropped from the leasing 
target would be replaced by other tracts that aren't in the 
preferred alternative. 

It also seems improper to continue to consider the 
exchange when there has not been a determination of whether or 
not the proposed exchange is in the public interest before you 
go to the expense of determining whether or not it ought to be 
in one of the preferred alternatives, because it seems to me 
that if it's not in the public interest if a determination like 
that is made you don't need to go to the expense and the time 
to do the studies that are going on right now. 

To elaborate on these points and for the record Wesco 
opposes the proposed coal exchange for the following reasons: 
When the EIS addresses the end use of the coal and says that a 

ynthetic fuels plant will be available for two plants on the 
two resulting 350,000,000-ton blocks of coal, it fails to con- 
ider Montana's stringent plant siting laws and the rural 



2-29 



114 



115 



51 

nature of the area. Montana would probably not allow the sit- 
ing of two plants in close proximity to one another. 

The EIS also fails to recognize that a synthetic 
fuels plant cannot economically exist unless it has in excess 
of 500,000,000 tons of coal. I know that there aren't a lot of 
areas to look around to determine what kind of reserve base is 
necessary for these things, but the one close to home in North 
Dakota has a reserve base of at least a billion tons, and I 
can tell you even though it might not be germane to this that 
the tonnage figure for Sasol in South Africa where the project 
is in existence now has in excess of two billion tons for thei: 
plants. 

Wesco recognizes that many of these concerns are 
being addressed in the document to be done by the Miles City 
BLM district office. However, it would seem to me to be more 
prudent to have the key legal issues and the public interest 
test addressed before the public pays to do a separate study 
as well as consider the exchange possibility in the Draft EIS, 
especially if these issues throw the exchange out of further 
consideration. 

The Fort Union Coal Team has concluded that alterna- 
tive three is the preferred alternative which includes the coal 
subject to the proposed exchange. There is no discussion of 
what happens to the leasing target if the 350,000,000 tons is 
hanged. In other words, would other tracts not presently 



115 




52 
included in the final leasing target be made available for the 




_- 


coal lease sale? 








In Wesco' s opinion, the ranking of the tracts and the 






' 


reasons given for ranking the Redwater tracts low in compari- 








son to the Circle West tracts are unjustified. Wesco conducted 






■• 


a survey of the Circle area attitudes toward coal mining in the 








summer of 1980. Development was favored across the entire 




116 


» 


county by nearly ninety percent of the sample. The discussion 




" 


about the Redwater River and the potential damage to it by 






'» 


mining the Redwater is also a concern to Wesco. There are few 






ii 


instances that Wesco is aware of that the Redwater River is 






i : 


used for crop irrigation. In fact, the river does not flow 






n 


during much of the growing season. We also understand that the 






_i* 


water quality is very poor. 






,. 


Wesco believes that the BLM's approach to predict 
what the end use of the coal will be is a mistake. In the- not 
too distant past, there was a study done called the North 
Central Power Study. This raised intense concern among many 
Montanans and has proven to be an untrue forecast of the energy 




117 


24 


and power development. The economic constraints to synfuels 
development as well as the lack of demand for lignite coal 
power generation makes the projected use estimates literally 
useless and misleading. In Wesco's opinion, the presence of 
abundant water for industrial use and the presence of signifi- 
cant coal resources make the Circle area attractive primarily 



















117 




for synthetic fuels development. 








The socio-economic impacts to Circle would be great 






4 


whether Circle West or the Redwater area were developed. Wesco 
does not believe, however, that the Circle West site has a 




118 


" 


lesser impact than the Redwater area on Circle. Since the 
Redwater tracts are nearer to Circle, many of the necessary 
social services are near at hand. At least under initial 
development, while the impact may be great to Circle, Wesco 
believes the proximity of the in-place social services would 






||| 


favor the Redwater area over Circle West. 






1:1 


Wesco does not hold itself out as a reclamation 
expert, but more data would have to be made conclusive to show 
that the Redwater area is more difficult to reclaim than the 






14 


Circle West area. Wesco believes the contrary is true because 




119 


„. 


of the nature of the terrain which is mostly rolling dry-land 
wheat production and grazing. The fact that the Redwater area 
has crop lands should not preclude it from development, 
especially when the majority of the surface over the tracts has 






" 


existing surface owner consents where the landowners have given 






- 


permission to surface mine the coal. Nothing is mentioned in 




120 


» 


the Draft EIS about how the landowners who have given their 








consents to mine would be affected by the proposed exchange. 






n 


There is nothing discussed about the terms of the two coal 




121 


-' 


reservations that exist in the BN and federal patents. Since 
the two coal reservations are different, in what manner and how 






" uc :„;:r~-::„: e .'°: T "' <1 



















121 



122 



123 



would they be exchanged? 

Wesco would like to take exception with the statement 
made on Page 73 regarding the Redwater tracts. Rationale was 
given by Wesco at the regional coal team meeting and at other 
meetings for inclusion of the Redwater tracts in the preferred 
leasing alternative. Wesco did not agree with the ranking pro- 
cess of the Redwater tracts and still doesn't. How the coal 
team can justify leasing the Burns Creek Tract in the preferred 
alternative and ignore tracts of interest like Redwati i i 
beyond comprehension, especially when it is apparent that the 
Burns Creek Tract will not clear the leasing process. 

One final thought is the coal leasing process itself. 
Applying the Powder River Coal Region sale procedures of April 
28, 1982, only those tracts that have valid surface owner con- 



ents will clear for leasing. Wesco assu 
rue in the Fort Union Region. Therefore 
11 the designated tracts are put up for 
iver sale, the initial leasing altemati 



es the same will be 
what harm is done if 
easing? In the Powde 
s called for 1 .4 to 
1.5 billion tons. The Secretary picked the maximum "figure and 
nade all the tracts available for leasing. When the sale was 
leld, six tracts dropped out because of refusals to consent and 
tracts received no bids. The result was the leasing of the 
I preferred leasing alternative. The 1.4 to 1.5 billion 
coal is exactly what was leased. To preclude tracts 
:or leasing and not provide that those tracts can replace ton- 



2-30 



123 



55 



nages that would drop out beca 
or because of exchanges or tho 
a mockery of the process and essen 
ing process puts a burden on the i 
those tracts for Leasing, It's no 



either there weren't anv bid 
orts of things seems to make 
tially the f edera 1 coa i leas 
sted parties to clear 
11 y done by the Secreta: 



Of the Interior. It's not really done by the coal team. The 
tract ranking process stymies the potential of competitive 
leasing, especially where leasing interest has been demon- 
strated. If the tracts can clear the unsuitability process and 
are available for leasing, they should be placed in the compet 
tive arena and the marketplace and the interested parties 
should decide whether or not the tracts are leased. 

Wesco Resources appreciates the opportunity to appea 
here tonight. Thank you. 

MR. DRIEAR: That is the last of the written or the 
oral statements that I have an indication of on the cards. Is 
there anyone else who would like to make an oral statement on 
the Draft Environmental Impact Statement this evening? If so , 
would you please come forward now and do so. Let the record 
show that there are no additional oral comments. 

If there are any written statements that you have 
this evening that you did not care to make an oral statement 
but you have your written statements with you before you leave 
i evening I would like to ask that you please leave them on 
the table for us. 



With that I would like to close the meeting and on 
behalf of the State of Montana and Bureau of Land Management 
thank you for attending. 

(The hearing then concluded at the hour of 9:08 p.m 
this 29th day of September, 1982.) 

This is to certify that the attached proceedings 
before the United States Department of the Interior, Bureau o 
Land Management, in the matter of a public hearing concerning 
the Fort Union Environmental Impact Statement, in the Community 
Room of the Dawson County Courthouse, Glendive, Montana, on 
Wednesday, September 29, 1982, were held as herein appears and 
that this is the original transcript thereof for the file of 
the Department or Commission. 



Certified Shorthand Repo 
and 
egistered Professional Rei 



%i« 



124 



FORT UNION DRAFT E2S HEARING 
TESTIMONY OF MYRON SCHULTZ 
SEPTEMBER 29, 1982 

MY NAME IS MYRON SCHULTZ, I AM PRESIDENT OF DAWSON RESOURCE COUNCIL. I AM 
OWNER AND PARTNER OF A GRAIN FARM IfcAR BLOOMFEELD, MONTANA. 

IN THE INTTCDUCTQRY LETTER IN THE DRAFT EIS BY STATE DIRECTOR PENFOLD, HE SAYS, 
"TESTIMONY RECEIVED THROUGH WRITTEN OR ORAL COMMENTS AT THE FORMAL HEARINGS 
WILL BE CONSIDERED DURING THE PREPARATION OF THE FINAL FJJVTRONMENTAL IMPACT 
STATEMENT. NO DECISION ON THE PROPOSED LEASE SALE WILL BE MADE UNTIL THE FINAL 
ENVIRONMENTAL TMPACT STATEMENT IS COMPLETED". ON PAGE 73 IT STATES, "THE RCT 
WAS OPENED MINDED ON THE ISSUE REGARDING THEIR FINAL RECOMMENDATION TO THE 
SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR SCHEDULED FOR JANUARY 1983, AND WAS STILL LOOKING 
FOR PUBLIC INPUT PRIOR TO THAT TIME". BASED ON THE ABOVE QUOTES, WHICH ARE 
JUST TWO OF THE MANY QUOTES I COULD HAVE STATED, IT IS APPARENT THAT PUBLIC IN- 
PUT IS TO HAVE DIRECT INFLUENCE ON FINAL DECISIONS MADE IN REGARDS TO THE FORT 
UNION REGION COAL. HAS THIS IN FACT BEEN THE CASE? WHEN YOU REVIEW THE PUBLIC 
INPUT GIVEN AT THE FORMAL HEARINGS HELD ON MAY 6 AND OCTOBER 21, 1981 AND COM- 
PARE THAT TO THE DRAFT EIS, IT IS VERY APPARENT THAT THE SECRETARY OF THE IN- 
TERIOR'S DESIRES TAKE PRIORITY OVER THE MAJORITY PUBLIC INPUT IN THE DECISIONS 
THAT ARE MADE AND PROPOSED. THEN WE WERE TOLD VERY EMPHATICALLY, AT THE WIBAUX, 
MONTANA PUBLIC MEETING ON SEPTEMBER 1, THAT THE DRAFT EIS IS A FOREWARNING OF 
WHAT IS TO COME. SO IT BECOMES VERY EVIDENT THAT WE ARE BEPC SUBJECTED TO 
NOTHING BUT DOUBLE-TALK AND IT CAUSES US TO SERIOUSLY WONDER IF THE DEE IS CAST, 
THE FINAL DECISION ALREADY MADE, AND THE PUBLIC MEETTNGS AND FORMAL HEARINGS ARE 
HELD MERELY TO 'IMPLY WITH FEDERAL REGULATIONS. SO I CHALLiNGE THE REGIONAL 
COAL TEAM TO LISTEN VERY CAREFULLY TO TOE PUBLIC COMMENTS MADE, ESPECIALLY BY 
THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE TN THE AREAS PROPOSED FOR COAL MINING AM J RELATED 



124L 



125 



126 



127 



ON PAGE 1 OF TOE INTRODUCTION TN THE DRAFT EIS IT STATES, "THIS MEANS THAT COAL 
WILL BE LEASED TO ACTIVELY SERVE NATIONAL ENERGY REQUIREMENTS, AND NOT JUST 
AS A RESPONSE TO INDTVTDUAL COMPANIES" . THIS BEING THE CASE, WHERE IS TOE EN 
DEPTH, ACCURATE, DETAILED, COMPREHENSIVE STUDY AS TO TOE NATIONAL ENERGY REQUIRE- 
MENTS AND THEREFORE NEED FOR THE COAL LEASING TARGET? I HAVE ASKED TO SEE AND 
RESEAJfCH THIS STUDY OF NEED NUMEROUS TIMES AND HAVE YET TO RECEIVE IT. I 
SERIOUSLY WONDER IS ONE EXISTS. WHEN WE LOOK AT OUR PRESENT GLUT OF COAL, THE 
NUMBER OF PRESENT FEDERAL COAL LEASES NOT DEVELOPED IN ANY WAY, THE POWDER 
RIVER BASIN COAL LEASED BELOW FAIR MARKET VALUE, TOE NUMBER OF NUCLEAR POWER 
PLANTS THAT HAVE GONE BELLY UP, A MESSAGE COMES OUT VERY CLEAR-THERE IS NO 
SUBSTANTIAL NEED FOR LEASING AND DEVELOPING COAL EN THE FORT UNION REGION. 

AS I STUDIED THE DRAFT EIS, I WAS APPALLED AT TOE MANY CONFUSING, INACCURATE, 
AND INCOMPLETE STATEMENTS AND CHARTS. ON PAGE 63 IS THIS STATEMENT, "THERE 
WOULD NOT BE ANY ADDITIONAL AGRICULTURAL DISTURBANCE, MERELY ALTERNATIVE AREAS 
BEING MINED THAT WOULD OTHERWISE BE BYPASSED IN ONGOING MINING OPERATIONS". 
FURTHER ON PAGE 114 FOR ALTERNATIVE 3 WE READ, "THESE LOSSES WOULD NOT SIGNI- 
FICANTLY REDUCE REGIONAL AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION, NOR WOULD THE AGRICULTURE 
SUPPORT ECONOMY BE AFFECTED. WITHIN THE OVERALL STRUCTURE OF AN AGRICULTURAL 
ECONOMY SUBJECTED TO FLUCTUATIONS EN SUPPLY AND DEMAND, INTEREST RATES, AND 
WEATHER CYCLES, THE REGIONAL IMPACTS ASSOCIATED WITH ENERGY DEVELOPMENT 
WITHIN THE FORT UNION TRACTS ARE MTNISCULE" . BEING DIRECTLY INVOLVED EN 
AGRICULTURE AS A GRAIN FARMER FOR THE PAST 30 YEARS, I SERIOUSLY QUESTION TOE 
VALIDITY OF THE ABOVE QUOTED STATEMENTS. TO BRUSH OFF THE VERY GREAT AND 
FAR REACHING IMPACTS ON AGRICULTURE AS BEING MTNISCULE IS TOTALLY ABSURD. 



2-31 



127 



128 



129 



PAGE 3 
LOSING OR DESTROYING EVEN 1% OF THE AGRICULTURAL PRODUCIONT OF AN AREA IS VERY 
SIGNIFICANT AND NO AMOUNT OF COMPENSATION BY ENERGY DEVELOPMENT COMPANIES WILL 
OFFSET THIS KIND OF LOSS. THE ENERGY COMPENSATION IS A ONE-TIME, SHORT TERM 
SITUATION, WHLLE AGRICULTURAL LOSS IS A CONTINUING LONG-TERM PROBLEM. 

THE DRAFT EIS ADDRESSES VERY INADEQUATELY THE ON-SITE IMPACTS, BUT IT COMPLETELY 
IGNORES THE OFF-SITE, OFF-TRACT IMPACTS WHICH ARE JUST AS SEVERE AND DESTRUCTIVE, 
OR EVEN MORE SO, THAN THE ON-SITE IMPACTS. THE ONLY COMPENSATION ALTERNATIVE 
IS FOR THE PROPERTY OWNER TO TAKE THE CASE TO COURT. THIS ALTERNATIVE JUST 
DOES NOT SOLVE THE PROBLEM AND IT INDICATES AN IRRESPONSIBILITY TOWARD THOSE 
SUFFERING THE OFF-SITE IMPACTS. 

THE CONFUSING STATEMENTS REGARDING RECLAMATION MAKES THE DRAFT EIS HARDLY 
CREDIBLE AS A BASIS FOR DECISION MAKING. "POST-MINING LAND USE WOULD BE THE 
SAME AS PRE-MINDC USE", PAGE 41. "SUCCESSFUL RECLAMATION OF WETLANDS, WOODY 
DRAWS, AND NATIVE PRAIRIE IS YET TO BE PROVED", PAGE 63. "PRELIMINARY INDI- 
CATION ... ARE THAT AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTIVITY OF MINED LAND CAN RE RESTORED", 
PAGE 89 . THE ABOVE QUOTES INDICATE WE HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO DJ ADEQUATE 
RECLAMATION. THEREFORE IT IS NOT ACCURATE OR CREDIBLE TO MAKE STATEMENTS 
CONCERNING THE SUCCESS OF RECLAMATION. 

THERE ARE MAN 1 / NORE INACCURATE AND CONFUSING STATEMENTS IN THE DRAFT EIS, BUT 
FOR SAKE OF BREVITY I WILL SUFFICE WITH THE ABOVE. I WOULD LIKE TO CONCLUDE 
BY CHALLENGING THE REGIONAL COAL TEAM AND THE OTHERS WHO WLLL BE RESPONSIBLE 
FOR THE FINAL EIS TO SPEND SOME TIME OUT IN THE AREAS OF PROPOSED ACTIVITY 

AW) VISIT WITH THE PEOPLE WHO WILL BE »IRECTLY AFFECTED BOTH ON TRACT AND OFF 
TRACT TO GET SOME ACCURATE INFORMATION RATHER THAN JUST ASSUMPTIONS AND CON- 
FUSING STATEMENTS. I WOULD ALSO CHALLENGE THEM TO LOOK VERY CLOSELY AT THE 
NEED FOR DEVELOPMENT BEFORE MAKING DECISIONS OR RECOMMENDATIONS. 




Dawson Resource Council 

P O Box 886 
Clendive, Montana 59330 




130 

131 
132 

133 



r 



TESTIMONY OF ROBERT AND NORMA ETZEL, SAVAGE, MONTANA 
SEPTEMBER 29, 1982 
GLENDTVE, MX. 

WE HAVE MIXED EMOTIONS ABOUT TESTIFYING AT THIS HEARING. WE FEEL THAT THE 
MAJORITY OF THE INPUT FROM THE PUBLIC IS EITHER IGNORED OR GIVEN VERY LITTLE 
CONSIDERATION. THERE SEEMS TO BE SO MANY OF THESE HEARINGS AND THEY DO CUT INTO 
VALUABLE TIME. 

AS TO THE EFFECTS OF MINING ON AIR QUALITY, IT IS ONLY A MATTER OF COMMON 
SENSE. WITH THE WIND WE HAVE EN THIS COUNTRY, ANY DISTURBANCE OF THE SOD WILL 
POLLUTE THE AIR, TO SAY NOTHING ABOUT THE PLANTS BURNING THE COAL. LIVING 
IN A SOUTH EASTERLY POSITION OF THE EXISTING KNIFE RIVER MINE AT SAVAGE WITH 
OUR PREVAILINC WEST WINDS HAS GIVEN US FIRST HAND KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT HAPPENS. 
AGAIN, COMMON SENSE WELL TELL YOU WHAT HAPPENS TO COAL DUST IN A WIND. COULD 
WE TURN DJTO A "BLACK LUNG AREA" D? MINING WERE DONE ON A LARGER SCALE? ANOTHER 
AREA OF CONCERN IS WATER POLLUTION AND DEPLETION . HOW CAN A NATURAL SPRING BE 
REPLACED, OR A WATER VEIN REACTIVATED LF DISTURBED? WHAT WILL THE RESIDUE 
FROM THE SYNFUEL PLANTS DO TO THE GRA2DJG AND AGRICULTURAL LAND? IT IS OUR 
UNDERSTANDDJG THAT CATTLE NEAR PLANTS *""- NOT FEED ON THE GRASS. 

WE BELIEVE DEVELOPMENT IS ESSENTIAL WHEN THERE IS A DEFINITE NEED. LIKEN 
ENERGY TO MONEY, WHEN THERE IS NOT AS MUCH, YOU TEND TO USE IT MDRE WISELY. AT 
THE PRESENT, MANY MINES HAVE CUT BACK PRODUCTION DUE TO LACK OF DEMAND. TO DATE, 

RECLAMATION IN AREAS HAS NOT PROVEN UP, AS MUCH AS THE RECLAMAINED LAND HAS 
NOT RETURNED TO PRIOR USAGE. WEEDS SEEM TO THRIVE BEST DJ MINED AREAS. 



134 



135 



IN GRANTING PERMITS FOR PLANTS AND MINES, THERE SHOULD BE A GUARANTEE 
THAT ENERGY WILL BE PRODUCED. CONSUMERS SHOULD NOT HAVE TO PICK UP THE TAB FOR 
PROJECTS WHICH FAIL. BEING DJ THE BUSINESS OF FARMING, IT WOULD BE NICE IF 

WE COULD PASS ON THE COST OF PRODUCING CROPS WHETHER WE GOT ANYTHING OR NOT. 

WE HAVE SEEN THE SOCIAL DTACT5 OF THE OIL BOOM DJ THE AREA. THINGS ARE 
NOW ON THE SLOW DOWN SIDE AND MANY"NATTVE" PEOPLE ARE FEELING THE EFFECTS. 
THE WORK FORCES WILL JUST MOVE ON AND UPSET SOME OTHER COMMUNITY. WE READ 
RECENTLY OF THE OLL LEASE SALE AND APE WONDERING IF THE HUGE COAL LEASE SALE 
PROPOSED AT SUCH A TIME WILL RESULT IN THE SAME GIVE AWAY PRICING. THIS MAY BE 
A TIME WHEN LEASING LESS COULD BE BETTER. WE REMEMBER OF A LEASDJG DJ CUR 
AREA DJ THE 60'S ON WHICH THERE HAS BEEN NO DEVELOPMENT. 

WHAT ARE THE PRIORITIES OF MDJING COMPANIES? PROFIT WOULD BE OUR ASSUMPTION. 
OUR PRIORITY IS A HEALTHLY PLACE TO LIVE. WE DO NOT GO BEGGING TO MDJING 
CONCERNS FOR THEIR MONEY. WE DO THE BEST WE CAN WITH WHAT WE HAVE. THAT IS 
MOPE THAN YOU CAN SAY FOR MINING CONCERNS. THEY ARE INSISTENT ON CHANGDJG 
OUR ENVIRONMENT BY ANY MEANS THEY CAN, OTHERWISE THEY WOULD NOT ALWAY5 BE 
WORKING TO CHANGE EMINENT DOMAIN LAWS TO THEIR ADVANTAGE OR CONSTANTLY HOUNDDJG 
LANDOWNERS TO SELL AFTER THEY HAVE BEEN TOLD NO. 

COULDN'T WE ALL CONSIDER DOING WITH LESS DJ ORDER TO PRESERVE OUR AIR 
QUALITY, CLEAN WATER, ECONOMIC STABILITY, FOOD PRODUCTION, AND IRREPLACEABLE 
NATURAL BEAUTIES AND WONDERS? 

THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME. 



Greg Veit, Beach, ND 


Fort Union Coal Hearings, Glendive, MT, Sept. 29, 1982 


This is the written text of statements made at the hearings on 9/29/82 


My name is Greg Veit, I am Vice-President of the Golden 


Valley Resource Council. 




I wish to make a statement concerning air pollution resulting 




from the Government leasing of coal to be used in energy plants. 




This is of interest to the Golden Valley Resource Council because the 




proposed Tenneco coal-gasification plant is adjacent to our county. 




The use of coal to produce energy is the dirtiest method now 




employed. Its ultimate toxicity has not yet been determined. The 




BLM itself had damned the use of coal, not by any expressed opinion. 




but by the facts their researchers have gathered in producing their 


136 


Environmental Impact Statement. 




Congress some time ago enacted a Clean Air Act, and is now 




considering an equally good one which is intended to protect the 




people of the United States from the dangers of air pollution. 




By leasing coal at its preferred alternative, the BLM is planning 




for and encouraging additional coal-conversion plants which will 




break the air standards set by Congress. Expecting to get all 




the coal they need, three coal -conversion companies are currently 




seeking waivers which undermine the Clean Air Act, creating a sit- 




uation in which a government agency , the RLM , is planning development 




which will oppose the will of Congress. 







2-32 



136 



Greg Veit, p. 2. 

Proof of this is found in the Air Quality Supplement 
recently mailed out by theBLM. There we find that for all six 
alternative leasing schedules the BLM studies show that the 
amount of sulfur dioxide in the air would exceed Class I standards 
Total Suspended Particulates will exceed the annual maximum level 
allowed anywhere in North Dakota and Montana. There are no 
visibility standards, but the "thresholds" established by BLM 
would be exceeded in both units of Theodore Roosevelt National Par 



of which 



137 



There are also grave potential hazards, the < 
are now unknown, in the areas of organic compounds, trace metals, 
acid rain, radioactive elements, and the effect of emissions on 
weather and climate. A BLM spokesman has said that leasing will 
take place, regardless of the findings. In view of these dangers 
it is hoped that only enough coal will be leased to supply the 
needs of present plants and those under construction. 

A second area of concern to us in Golden Valley County is th 
economic impact of development of the South Wibaux-Beach tract. 
The Impact Statement underestimates the severity and duration of 
disruption to the community of Beach and the surrounding area, 
should development occur. 

In particular, we take exception to the projections of f isca 
revenues as portrayed on page A-18 of the Statement. The graph 
projects and initial deficit, then a SI , 000, 000/year surplus 
beginning in 1992. 







Greg Veit, p. 3. 




Information that we have received from the Tenneco Company, 




from the North Dakota Legislative Council, and from the North 




Dakota Energy Impact Office contradicts the findings of the BLM. 




At the August 2, 1982 Legislative Task Force meeting in 




Beach, the Tenneco Representative said, "it is likely that mining 




would not take place in North Dakota for about 20 years." [taken 




from the minutes of the meeting) A study by the Energy Impact 




Office states, "As long as the coal is mined only in Montana, the 




communities will not receive Coal Severence Taxes, cannot borrow 




from the Coal Trust Fund, and cannot receive assistance from the 




Coal Impact Fund." (Mitigation of Impacts in Western North Dakota 


137 


from Tenneco Development) 




This leaves Beach with mitigation money from only two sources; 




front-end money from Tenneco, and property taxes. The fact is. 




Tenneco has not pledged any mitigation funds, nor have they ever 




given front-end money to any communities, anywhere. 




This means that Beach is left with property taxes alone to 




pay for: improved school facilities, additional teachers, new water 




and sewer facilities, improvements to county roads and city streets. 




maintenance equipment, community facilities, and recreational 




facilities and equipment. 




Given this situation, it is inconceivable that Beach will have 




a SI million/per year surplus within three years of construction 




start-up. 







Any reasonable accounting of the costs and benefits of 
development of the South Wibaux-Beach tract must conclude that 
the formidable impacts are not justified by strip-mining to 
produce high-priced synthetic gas. 



«S C-UiiOUN, XaMBias OF t'rta CifcKin&Z, Hi &Ai£ IS CHARLi^ RGcR, 
I Fai'ji A.ND lUiiL'd 15 ruL-j WEST uF CIRCLE. 

V0 ■LATe 10 COUNT UP Tit, NWiiErf 01 ritffj 1KA1 I HA\fc teEH TO 
(J£AiUfl35, WFUtOvUIUNAL MEETINGS, BRIE+'IMGS AND CONSULTATION SESSIONS 
COHCSlUUNG fda K.M.F.P. OK TKl FORI UNION t-.l.S. 0/ER THE PAST 5EVERAL 
YEARS. IF I EVER DID, I'D PROBABLY ASK MYSELF WHAT IN THE .-ZLL AR£ YOU 
DOING ^RE AGAIN YARGER. 

I COULD SPEND ONE AND A HALF HOURS STANDING UP HERE REITERATING 
ALL OF HY FQRKER TESTIMONY POINTING OUT ALL OF THE INADEQUACIES OF TOUR 
STUDIES, THE DOUBLE STANDARD YOU OPERATE UNDER, YOUR FAILURE 10 RfcSPOKI) 
TO LEGITIMATE LAND 0WNtR CONCERNS AND ALL OF YOUK OWN RULES AND KtGULAllJiJj 
THAT YOU-YE CHOSEN TO IGNORE. I COULD TA1UE ALL OF 1ft ALLCITeD riMa AND 
SAY NOlrflNG JJ1 I TOLD YOU So. oUT acCAUSE THIS IS THE LAST OPPORTUNITY, 
WE WILL RAVE 10 C0M.-i.NT ON THIS £.1.5., THERE ARE A FEW MOSE POINTS I 
W0LL3 LIKE 10 MAiU.. 

DOST SET ME -RONG, 1 00 NT RAVE ANY ILLUSIONS THAI ANYTnING 1 
SAY WILL MAAE THE SLIGHTEST an OF DIFFERENCE TO YOUR BOSS ON THE POTOMAC. 

THAT IS UNLESS OF COURSE THE FORT UNION REGIONAL COAL is. AH, CITIZENS 
AND IRE STAIi GOVERNMENTS OF THIS AREA RAVE THE COURAGE TO SAY, "UK. WAIT, 
WE'VE HAD r .;:0'uGH!-. 

WHAT WE SAY WONT HATTER UNLESS WE EXPOSE THE FORT UNION i.I.S. 
COAL LEASE TARGETS, FEDERAL COAL PROGRAM AND THE NEW RUU CHANGES FOR 
WHAT TritY REALLY ARe. THE SECRETARY OF INTERIOR HAS SOLD US OUT AND Hi 
MAKES NO BONES ABOUT IT. 

THE SECRETARY OF INTERIOR WOULD DO AWAY WTTH LAND OWNER RIGHTS, 
HE WOULD DO AWAY WITH DUE DILIGENCE, HE rfOULJ DO AWAY WTTH THE FORT UNION 



2-33 



REGIONAL COAL TEAM AND T rfE RIGHTS OF THE STATE GOVERNMENTS TO HAVE ANY 
DECISION IN THE DEVELOPMENT Of THE NATURAL RESOURCES WITHIN OUR BOUNDARIES. 

AND THE IS THE NEW FEDERALISM WE'RE ALL SUPPOSED TO BE SO IN AWE 
OF — FINE EXAMPLE OF MANAGING THE PUBLIC'S RESOURCES, KEEPING IN MIND 
OFCQURSE, MULTIPLE USE AND SUSTAINED HELD. 

ON THE 6TH OF MAr I TESTIFIED BEFORE THE FORT UNION REGIOSAL COAL 
TEAM IN MILES CITY, AND WARNED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF OVERLEASING AND THE 
SUBSEQUENT SPECULATION THAT MIGHT OCCUR. I STATED THAT IF YOU MADE A 
LOGICAL, REASONABLY SIZED LEASE SALE RECOMMENDATION IT WOULD PROBABLY BE 
IGNORED, AND IT WAS. IN OCTOBER I ONCE AGAIN TESTIFIED STATING THE NEED 
FOR COAL LEASING WAS LESS NOW THAN U WAS IN MAY. I ALSO WARNED ABOUT 
THE PROPOSED CHANGES IN THE COAL PRXRAM THAT WOULD VIRTUALLY ELIMINATE 
THE REGIONAL COAL TEAM. 

SINCE THAT TLME THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR HAS ADAPTED NEW REGU- 
LATIONS WHICH KEEP THE REGIONAL COAL TEAMS FROM HAVING AMY VOICE IN FUTURE 
COAL LEASE SALES, WHICH OF COURSE, THEREBY ELIMINATES THE STATES. FURTHER- 
MORE, THE DEPARTMENT HAS ADAPTED A NEW POLICY THAT 'WILL LEA5E COAL ON THE 
BASIS OF WHAT INDUSTRY WANTS FOR RESERVES RATHER THAN HOW MUCH IS NECESSARY 
TO MEET TRUE ENERGY FEEDS. 

IN THE BEGINNING OF THE FORT UNION E.I.S., YOU DISCUSS SCOPING, ALL 
Cf THOSE AREAS OF CONCERN THAT NEED TO BE ADDRESSED - AIR QUALITY, WATER 
QUALITY, EFFECT OF FACILITY WASTES ON GROUND WATER, AGRICULTURE, UTILITY 
CORRIDORS. IMPACT OF COMMUNITIES, INFLATION. LIFE STYLE CHANGES. 

THEY'VE ALL BEEN AT LEAST ADDRESSED OR MENTIONED IN GENERAL TERMS, 

BUT THERE ARE NO CONCLUSIVE RESULTS FROM ANY IN DEPTH STUDIES. NOTHING 

THAT CAN BE PROVEN. IT'S MENTIONED IN SCQPItG AND FOR THE MOST PART, THAT'S 
AS FAR AS I T GOES. 



- 3 - 

THE FORT UNION S.I.S. STUDIES SIX OIFFtRcOT ALTERNATIVES! I-HOM 
ALTERNATIVE t\ - LEASING FOR MAINTENANCE TRACTS, TO ALTERNATIVE #6 - 
LEASING VIRTUALLY EVERY AVAILABLE TON OF FEDERAL COAL IN THE FORT UNION 
COAL DEPOSIT. CONSIDERING OUR ABILITY TO CORRECTLY PREDICT THE ACTIONS 
OF THE SECRETARY OF INTERIOR UP TC THIS ^OINT, I FAIL TO SEE WHY WE EVEN 
BOTHER TO STUDY ANYTHING OTHER THAN ALTERNATIVE /6. HE WILL MORE THAN 
LIKELY RECOMMEND 5-6 SYNTUEL PLANTS AND 2.1* POWER PLANTS IN DAWSON, WIBAUX 
AND McCONE COUNTIES. 

THE FEDERAL COAL MANAGF.MENT PRXRAM WHICH REGULATES HOW FEDERAL 
COAL IS TO BE LEASED HAS FOUR PRIMARY GOARS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR. 
TAKEN FROM THE ABSTRACT PAGE 3-2 I 

»1) EMPLOY LAND USE PLANNING AND EFFECTIVE ENFORCEMENT OF 

ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS TO ENSURE THAT FEDERAL COAL IS COMMITTED 

TO PRODUCTION AND PRODUCED IN AN ENVIRONMENTALLY ACCEPTABLE 

MANNER WHICH IS RESPONSIBLE TO LOCAL COMMUNITIES AND LAND 

OWNERS EFFECTED 9Y COAL DEVELOPMENT." 

I FAIL TO SEE HOW LEASING 1 BILLION TONS OF COAL AND DEYBSTATIKJ 
LOCAL COMMUNITIES AND LAND OWNERS CAN BE MISCONSTRUED AS BEING RESPONSIBLE. 
"2) ASSURE THAT SUFFICIENT Q UANTI TI^S ARE LEASED TO MEET 

ENERGY NEEDS." 

WS HAVE TO HAND IT TO THE SECRETARY, HE CERTAINLY DID MEET THAT 
GOAL! UNLESS OF COURSE YOU IAKE INTO CONSIDERATION THE FACT THAT iriERE IS 
NO PROVEN NEED TO LEASE ANY MORE FEDERAL COAL. 

"3) ASSURE THAT FEDERAL COAL IS PRODUCED IN AN ECONOMICALLY 

EFFICIENT MANNER WITH A FAIR ECONOMICAL RETURN TO THE U.S. 

FOR ALL COAL PRODUCED." 

CONSIDER THE POWDER RIVER LEASE SALE HELD LAST SPRING. TWO OF THE 
TRACTS OFFERED DIDN'T EVEN RECEIVE BIDS AND MOST OF THE OTHERS ONLY RECEIVED 



ONE BID. THE SECRETARY GAVE AWAY MILLIONS OF DOLLARS Of THE PU5LICS 
RESOURCES TO THE COAL SPECULATORS, A FACT SO OBVIOUS THAT THE LEASE SALE 
IS BEING CHALLSKJEO IN COURT AND IN CONGRESS. 

THE RESULTS OF A FORT UNION COAL LEASE SALE WILL BE EVEN WORSE, 
BECAUSE MANY OF THE COMPANIES WHO HAD PREVIOUSLY EXPRESSED INTEREST IN 
FORT UNION COAL, NO LONGER PLAN ON SUBMITTING BIDS. 

"<0 EMPHASIZE CONSULTATION AND COOPERATION WITH STATE GOVERNMENTS 

IN THE PLANNING, LEASING AND DEVELOPMENT OF FEDERAL COAL." 

CONSIDERING WHAT I HAVE ALREADY STATED ABOUT THE ROLE OF STATE 
GOVERNMENT AND THE REGIONAL COAL TEAM, I WOULD LIKE TO READ PART OF A 
LETTER WRITTEN TO THE SECRETARY OF INTERIOR ON AUGUST JO, 1962, BY ALL OF 
THE WESTERN GO/ERNORS. 
"DEAR SECRETARY WATT t 

ON BEHALF OF THE UNDERSIGNED GOVERNORS OF THE MAJOR PUBLIC LANUo 
STATES, I AH ■WRITING TO EXPRESS OUR COLLECTIVE CONCERN THAT OUR dEST EFFORTS 
TO FOSTER :,Z 5FIRIT OF YOUR NEW FEDERALISM IN THE AREA OF FEDERAL COAL 
LEASING - EFFORTS THAT HAVE PRODUCED THE FIRST SECCESSFUL COAL LEASING IN A 
DECADE - ARE NOW FALTERING UNDER THE CHANGED POLICIES AND REGULATIONS OF 
THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR. THE EFFECT OF THESE CHANGES IS TO ONCE 
AGAIN CENTRALIZE ON THE POTOMAC CRITICAL DECISIONS AFFECTING WESTERN jIATES - 

decisions that should be made in the region. the final regulations governing 
federal coal ieasing that were published by the interior department on 
july 30 have reduced the role of states in federal coal leasing decisions. 
specifically, the regulations eviscerate the most vital organ for state/fcderal 
cooperation, the regional coal teams. the reduced pole of the regional coal 
tiams, and thus the states, is directly contrary to the intent of that 
department , as stated in the proposed regulations! "the changes would not 
significaj.tly alter the role of the regional coal teams." 



138 



I WOULD LIKE TO COMMEND THE GOVERNORS FOR DEFENDING THE RIGHTS 
OF THE STAT-S AND US CITIZENS. IT SiEMS OBVIOUS AFTER USING SUCH STRONG 
LANGUATS THAT THEY WILL CONTINUE TO PURSUE THE MATTER AND DO cVSRTTrtlNO 
IN THEIR POWER TO SEE THAT THE SECRETARY OF INTERIOR CAN NO LONGER RUN 
"ROUGH SHOD" OVER THE STATES. 

KY ONE MAIN CONCERN WITH THE FORT UNION B.I.S. AND IriE PROPOSED 
JUNE 1963 LEASE SALE IS THAT THERE IS NO NEED TO LEASE. IF IT IS LEASED, 
IT WILL BE FOR SPECULATIVE REASONS ONLY. 

THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY PLANS FOR SYNTHETIC FUEL PLANTS, POWER 
PLANTS AND NUCLEAR PLANTS ARE BEING DROPPED OR INDEFINABLY POSTPONED. 
THE WY COAL PLANT IN WYOMING, THE ANTELOPE VALLEY STATION IN NORTH DAKOTA, 
AND THE INFAMOUS WOOPS NUCLEAR PLANTS IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST ARe ALL 
EXAMPLES. MONTANA MINES ARE OPtRATING AT 604 CAPACITY TWO MONTANA MINES 
ARE NOW IN COURT WITH THEIR UTILITY CUSTOMERS WHO WANT OUT OF THEIR COAL 
CONTRACTS. WESTMORLAND AND PEA30DY MINES ARE OPERATING AT ONE-HALF CAPACITY. 

LAST SUNDAY'S BILLINGS GAZETTE CARRIED AN ARTICU ABOUT GILLETTE. 
WYOMING'S HAMPSHIRE PROJECT, STATING THE SYNFUEL PROJECT WAS NOT NEEDED. 
IT WENT ON TO SAY IF IT WAS BUILT, IT WOULD LAY OFF WORKERS IN THE WYOMING, 
BILLINGS AND DENVER REFINERIES. WHY? BECAUSE THERE IS NO DEMAND, THERE 
IS NO NEED. THE M1NOWEST POWER POOL 'WHICH IS THE PREDEOMINATE MARKET FOR 
FOMT UNION COAL CURRENTLY HAS 9,030 MEGAWATTS OF OVER PRODUCTION. THAT IS 
1/3 OF THEIR TOTAL GENERATING CAPACITY. 

THE COAL MARKET IS DECLINING WEEKLY. IN VIRTUALLY EVERY TRADE PRESS 
PUBLICATION OR NEWSPAPER ONE CAN READ WE HEAR OF THE SOFT COAL MARKET NOW, 
FORTHE NEXT TEN YEARS OR THE FORSEEABLE FUTURE. 

IN McCONE COUNTY NO ONE HAS EVtN FILED A LONG RANGE PLAN. THE 
ONLY POSSIBLE DEVELOPMENT IN THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE WOULD BE IF THE B.N., 
B.L.M. MINERAL SWAP FIASCO WERE TO TAKE PLACE. 



2-34 



138 



- 6 - 

AND SO I ASK YOU, IF IHEHS IS NO DEMAND, WHY LEASI THe COAL? rHERc 

CAN BE ONLY ONE ANSWER. SPECULATION: THE MULTINATIONAL ENERGY CORPORATIONS 
Of THIS COUNTRY WANT THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR TO GIVE. THEM HUNDREDS OF 
MILLIONS OF DOLLARS WORTH OF THE PUBLICS RESOURCES. IT CERTAINLY APPEARS 
THAT THE ENERGY COMPANIES HAVE A WAY OF GETTING WHAT THEY WANT FROM THS 
CURRENT ADMINISTRATION. 

OVERLEA3INC AND THE SUBS$UcNT SPECULATIVE AbUSE BY iNERGY COM? ANUS 
IS NOT NEW. IN EARLY 1962PACIFIC GAS AND ELECTRIC SOLO THEIR FEDERAL LEAitS 
IN UTAH TO SUN OIL FOR $20,000 PES ACRE. THESE LEASES WERE ORIGINALLY 
OBTAINED FROM THE GOVERNMENT IN THE 1960's FOR $3.70 PER ACRE. LAST YEAR 
PEABODY COAL COMPANY SOLD THEIR FEDERAL LEASES TO SHELL OIL FOR $17,000 PER 
ACRE. PEA30DY BOUGHT THESE LEASES IN 1966 FOR $3.00 PER ACRE. 

THIS SQUANDERING OF THE PUBLIC'S RESOURCES IN THE PAST IS SAD, 
BUT TO DO IT AGAIN ON SUCH A GRAND SCALE AS IN THE POWDER RIVER LEASE 
SALE AND THE FORT UNION LEASE SALE WOULD BE A NATIONAL DIXRACE. 

AT A TIMi WHcN UNEMPLOYMENT IS AT lQi, THE COUNTRY IS Oh THr. BRINK 
OF A OETRcSSION, AND PEOPLe. NEtO SOMETHING TO LOOK FORE"*ARD TO, IT IS INCOM- 
PREHENSIBLE TO ME FOR THE SECRETARY OF INTERIOR TO GIVE AWAY FORtVER THE 
PUBLIC'S RIGHT TO A FAIR RETURN FOR THEIR RESOURCES. 

GENTLEMEN, THE TEAPOT DOME SCANDAL PALES IN COMPARISON. 



September 29. 1982 

Comments: Fort Union Draft Environmental Impact Statement 

Submitted fort Solvejg N. Howard (Landowner, Golden Valley County) 
11551 Ohio Avenue 
Apt. 8 1 
Los Angeles, CA 90025 



139[ 



140 
141 



As a document It leaves 


much to be desired. The 


to research works, or c 


itations for assertions m. 


example, on what author 


lty are water needs (Fig. 


emission rates (Fig. 1- 


7, page 47) based? 



ge 45) and air 

On page 9 there Is a "Typical Fort Union Regional View." This is 
misleading. Exactly where is the location shown? As I have seen the 
country, Jeffersonlan squares of farmland would be more "typical". 

The maintenances of water and air quality are not covered to my 
satisfaction. What are the long term costs of groundwater degradation? 
By what authority can you dismiss the movement of mine-polluted water as 
not a major issue (pp. 103-104)7 

Coal leasing should be deferred until the needs for the energy and the 
costs and capital come together. There seems no need to lease out 
government coal for some persons to use the leases for speculative 

purposes. 



anged fo 



greati 



I think the proposals for bidding arc 
good for the greatest number" over the next century. And, some futurists 
see the United States as becoming even more the breadbasket for everyone. 
Careless land and mineral use in the next few decades would, I think. 
Jeopardize the production of food. In the meantime, we should be pushing 
the development of renewable energy sources: wind, sun, geothermal, 
tidal, and the rest. I seriously question the need for such extensive 
coal strip-mining as the Fort Union Statement projects. 




DATE: September 29, 1982 
LOCATION: Clendive, Mont; 



Good evening. My name is Marty Holmes. I represent Meridian Land & Mineral 
Company in Billings , Montana. I am currently the project supervisor for the 
proposed Meridian coal exchange in the Circle West area of McCone County. My 
first comment regarding the Fort Union Regional Coal Draft ELS is one to 



clarify and 



of coal development 



he Cn 



142 



this year we supplied BLM i 
felt was the only alterna 



which Meridian would have di 
■rnative we supplied was a p 



facility to manufacture 2.500 tons. 18,000 barrels per day of methanol. 






142 



plant of this type will 



aght change and make methanol i 



again in the rul 
liable plan. 



Any other scenario in the EIS document relating to Circle West, including the 
generic 85,000 barrels per day synfuel facilities, are hypothetical for the 
purpose of BLM's assessment. We do not see development of this magnitude as 
that most likely to occur, and it is hoped the public would keep that in mind 

formal plans and with lengthy permitting requirements , coal mines and 

in L987 as Table 1-11 in the EIS shows. 



143 



program in the Fori 



cuss poss ible impacts of the leas ing 
rently contemplated. It certainly was 



2-35 



of leasing that the regional 



143 



"lo 



Light 



and levels of production comprising 






various leasing alteri 
the predicted time fri 



hope that the public understands that, within t itoe frames p red it 
unlikely that corresponding impacts will actually be generated a 

resulting impacts is likely to be. 



le strongly suggest that the 
lining in the region and det. 



ard look at the projections for coal 
>st realistic level of production for 
mate of the level of 



143 



selected time frames. This should be followed by an e 
impacts associated with that production. The final £ IS could uae this as a 
basis for comparison when discussing possible production levela from the 
various alternatives. This arrangement would clearly put impact levels for 
the full level of production for each alternative in perspective to what the 
BLH really thinks is going to happen. Everyone reading the document would 

likely to be. 



I should add that we 
competition between re 

and expected production. 



age leasing levels large enough to pn 






On behalf of Heridian. I'd like to thank you for the opportunity to comment on 
the EIS. We hope BLH will consider our comments. We feel the proper 

hypothetical coal development. However, BLH has done the best possible job of 
addressing impacts for the production levels chosen ; especial ly when 



144 



testimony pap the blm hearing in glendive on «*t. sept. •«? 

I AM HELL KUBESH AND I HAVE HELPED MY HUSBAND JOHN FARM POD THE LAST 3*. YEARS. ME ARE 
CONCERNED ABOUT THE EFFECTS OF URGE STRIP i MINES AMD SYNFUELS ON OUR FARM OUR COMMUNITY 

*W OUR WHOLE AREA. PTRST, I MART TO SAY THAT I APPRECIATE YOUR EF P UWTb TO FIND OUT MORE 
ABOUT THE EFF HCTS OF SYNFUEL PLANTS CM AIR QUALITY AND PUBLISHING THE AD! QUALITY SUPPLEMENT. 

HOWEVER I FIND A GREAT DEAL OF DATA NEEDED TO ASSESS DAMAGES FROM 5YNFUEL PLANTS 
ARE UNKNOWN. ESTIMATED FROM POOR BASE LINE INFORMATION, OR CONTRADICTORY, AS IS ACKNOWLEDGED 
IN YOUR MODELING STUDIES. ON PAGE s 771' MODELING OF CUMULATIVE I* HR C ONC E N T R ATION, IT 
STATES THAT STATE STANDARDS IN BOTH MONTANA ARD NORTH DAKOTA AS WELLL AS THE FEDERAL SEC 
ONDARY STANDARD ARE EXCEEDED IN ALL CASES , ,YET OH PAGE S-?7 IT STATES THAT ALLOWABLE CLASS 

II INCREMENTS ARE GENERALLY NOT EXPECTED TO BE EXCEEDED. ALSO, ON PAGE S-36 IT SAYS "BASED 
OH CURRENT KNOWLEDGE, THERE CAN BE LITTLE DOUBT THAT EMISSIONS OF SOj and NO^ BY PROTECT 
SOTJCES WILL CO N T RIBU T E ACIDITY TO ATMOSPHERIC OEPOS ITIOH " , AMD OM PAGE S- )7 , "DUE TO THE 
SIGNIFICANT SIZE* OF GASIFICATION AND LIQUEFACTION PACrLTTIBS THIS D3 AN AREA OF POTENTIAL 
CONCERN AND SHOULD BE MORE CRITICALLY EVALUATED AS MORE STUDIES ARE COMPLETED AND AS 
SPECIFIC COAL CONVERSION PROJECTS ARE PROPOSED.* YET ON PAGE S-41 AFTER CONCEDING THAT 
MORE INFORMATION NECESSARY TO QUANTIFY THE EFFECTS OF AIR POLLLUTIOM ON WATER QUALITY IS 

ATXABLE. THE CONCLUSION WAS (S-4H that INDIRECT EFFECTS ON WATER QUALITY 

; FROM AD) POLLOTTON WILL LIKELY BE IRS IGM IF ICANT . 

,» 

THE STUDY OF TRACE ELEMENTS IN COAL FROM NORTH DAKOTA IS REVEALING ONLYjlTHAT ONE YEAR 

DISCHARGES WILL NOT CAUSE ADVERSE ETECTS ON ECOSYSTEMS IN A ONE- YEAR SPAN, BUT NO CONCLUSION 
WERE REACHED FOR LONGER TERM EFFECTS. IS IT NOT REASONABLE TO EXPECT A CUMULATIVE EFFECT PRC 
THE LONG LIST OF TOXIC ELEMENTS? THE EFFECTS OF LEAD, MERCURY, ARSENIC, THE MANY VARIETIES 
OF URANIUM, AND fiDIONUCLEIDES ARE AIX KNOWN TO BE TOXIC OR CARCINOGENIC TO ALL LIVING 
CREATURES, AND ARE NOT TO BE LIGHTLY BTSMTSSED. 

ACID RAIN IS BECOMING MORE AND MORE A NATIONAL CONCERN. WITH MORE THAaY 140 FISKLESS 
LAKES IN ONTARIO AND MORE THAN Ml IN NORTHERN NEW YORK, l c >0, OOO In SWEDEN BEING DETERMINED 
■O HAVE BEEN CAUSED BY ACID RALN IT SHOULD BE A PRIME CONCERN IN THIS AREA. WITH TH» DIS- 
APPEARANCE OF FISH IN THIS AREA ME COULD LOSE A LUCRATIVE TOURIST INDUSTRY. WHILE SOILS 
IN THISAREA TEND TO BE ALKALINE AND WILL TOLERATE OR EVEN BENEFIT FROM A SMALL AMOUNT OF 
ACID RAD), THERE ES NO CONSENSUS OR EVEN AN ESTIMATE OF WHERE THE DANCER LINE IS. 



144 



145 



YOUR STUDY HAS DEVELOPED A GOOD BASIS TO WORK FROM, BUT ALSO RAISES A GREAT MANY 
MORE QUESTIONS. WHILE RADCfHMH 222 and 220 WERE STUDIED AND WERE POUND TO BE DISPERSED (BY 
AT LEAST HALT) WHAT HAPPEN* TO THE MANY OTHER URANIUN COKPOUND8 WHICH MERE POUND? AND 
THEM THERE WAS THE QUESTION ABOUT THE RADON fOKPOMENT BEING tOtAMSFERfuTD TO THE END 

pROiucT or am w jiu: natural gas, would it be transferred then to home gas stoves and 

SO MY CONCLUSION IS THAT THERE IS NOT NBA RET ENOUGN HARD DATA TO JUSTIFY ANY OF THE 
LEASING ALTERNATIVES EXCEPT (1. THE WHOLE AREA OP S FN FUEL DEVELOPMENT IS ST1LJ, EXPERIMENTAL 
AT THIS STAGE OP SIZE AND SCOPE. DON'T TOU THINK THAT THE PELL- -NELL ENERGY SEARCH SHOULD 
HAVE LEARNED SOMETHING FROM THE NUCLEAR BOOM AMD BUST? NE ARE LEARNING, SLOWLY PERHAPS, THAT 
GOVERNMENT DOES NOT DO WHAT 15 BEST FOR ORDINARY CITIZENS. AFTER COVERHEMRT REFUSAL TO BE 
RESPONSIBLE FOR DEATHS IN UTAH FROM NUCLEAR TESTING, CAN WE EXPECT MORE? ARE HE, IN THIS 
AREA ALSO DESIGNATED TO BE GUINEA PIGS TO FIND OUT THE ANSDWERS TO THE QUESTIONS LEFT 
IJNANGWERED? THE IRONY OF THE WHOU MATTER IE THAT A NEW SOURCE OF ENERGY IS NOT NEEDED NOW 
OR IN THE NEAR FUTTJRE. OIL COMPANIES ARE WORRIED ABOUT SUBSEDrZED COMPETITION IN A SLOW 
MARKET AND COAL COMPANIES ARRE MTjrrMG WORE COAL THAN TREY CAN MARKET. THE AMERICAN PUBLIC • 
ALSO WILL BE THE LOSER IF THE PUBLIC COAL ES PUT UP FOR LEASE AT THIS TIME AT GIVEAWAY 

PTJTAIXY, I AM REQUESTING A 30 day EXTENSION FOB ADDITIIONAL CO* 



HP 



X 






2-36 



IRtNC Morrcri 



Irene Moffe 



146 



onomic section of this E I S draft on agncultur 
st the farming profit oT each year for a lease 
eration as the only loss is not correct. A fa 



This EIS Draft says there will be good reel sm.it 
Since no land has ever been released Trom bondi 
ed in the state of Montana, I really don't see 
put in such a statement. 



147 



al mining. You keep referring to summer fallowing as an 
ample of land not being used. When you summer fallow yo 
crease the amount of grain or food energy in the crop ye 

mining you just decrease food energy - the energy that 

shortest supply on a world wide basis. 



So far no o 
state. One 



reclamation of cropland in 
ings for reclamation .s get 



147 



Last summer in the fort Union Coal Region in North Dakota a 

soil to use in reclamation. Vet you state as a fact that 
there will be separate removal, storage and respreading of 
these soils and the land will be put back together for farm 

this on when there is proof that it isn't being done in thi 



In your conclusion the first paragraph states "Short term 
disturbance would somewhat exceed that acerage presently 
left bare annually due to summer fallow. Preliminary ind 
tion from completed and ongoing research are that in the 
long term agricultural productivity of mined land can be 

happened to coal mined land in the past and what else do 



r 



I I feel that leasing the coal will also commit an btnount of 

I water to process this coal. There are pending at this time 

I claims for a large amount of water in Montana. (Filings 

I under the Montana water adjudication law). 

I will submit in writing at a later date the facts and 




Dawson Resource Council 




149 



150 



P. Box 686 
Glendive, Montana 59330 



TESTIMONY OF L£IDA HUBLNG 
SEPTEMBER 29, 1982 
GLENDIVE, MT 

I AM LEIDA E. HUBLNG. MY FAMILY OWNS LANDS WITHIN AND IMMEDIATELY ADJACENT 
TO THE BURNS CREEK TRACT. I WOULD FIRST LIKE TO REQUEST A 30 DAI' EXTENSION ON 
THE WRITTEN COMMENT PERIOD SO THAT WE MAY ADEQUATELY ADDRESS THE RECENTLY 
RELEASED AIR QUALITY STUDY IN REGARD TO THE ENTIRE FORT UNION ErJVIRONMENTAL 
IMPACT STATEMENT. 

AT PREVIOUS MEETINGS AND HEARINGS ON THE NEED FOR NEW COAL LEASING IN THE 
FORT UNION AREA, THE PUBLIC HAS TESTIFIED THAT THERE IS NO NEED FOR THIS LEASING. 
I FEEL THAT THIS STILL HOLDS TRUE. 

I HAVE NEVER SEEN ANY STUDIES PROVING THAT THIS COAL IS NEEDED. PRESENTLY 
THERE ARE ALMOST 20 BILLION TONS OF COAL UNDER LEASE. MOST OF THIS COAL IS 
UNDEVELOPED BECAUSE THERE IS NO DEMAND. THIS AMOUNT CF COAL WOULD SEE US DOWN 
THE ROAD IS to 20 YEARS, EVEN IF THE DEMAND SHOULD INCREASE. 

BUT IT IS UNLIKELY THAT THE DEMAND FOR COAL SHOULD INCREASE. THERE ARE 
MANY REASONS FOR THIS, A FEW OF WHICH ARE; 

1) CONSUMERS ARE CUTTING BACK ON THEIR USE OF ELECTRICITY AND WILL PROBABLY 
CUT BACK MORE AS THE COST OF ELECTRICITY DECREASES. 

2) MORE AND MORE PEOPLE ARE MAKING USE OF RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES, SUCH 
AS SOLAR, WIND, AND WATER POWER. 

3] THERE ARE MANY MOPE NATURAL GAS RESERVES AND THERE IS MORE GAS IN THOSE 
RESERVES THAN THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY ORIGINALLY FORECASTED DUE TO 
NEW TECHNOLOGY. 



2-37 



150 

151 

152 
153 



#J* THIS NEW TECHNOLOGY HILL MAKE THE EXPENSIVE SYNFUEL PROCESS OBSOLETE IN 
THE NEAR FUTURE. 

SPEAKING OF EXPENSES, WE SHOULD REMEMBER THAT THESE SYNFUEL PLANTS WILL 
BE SUBSIDIZED BY OUR TAX DOLLARS. YET, SECRETARY WATT INSISTS THAT THIS COSTLY 
DEVELOPMENT IS NECESSARY. 

AS PREVIOUSLY STATED, WE RANCH WITHIN THE BURNS CREEK TRACT. IF THIS 
DEVELOPMENT SHOULD CCME TO PASS, AND THE FACILITY ON BURNS CREEK IS PLACED 
WHERE IT IS MAPPED, If MJST BE REMEMBERED THAT WHILE THE BUREAU OF LAND 
MANAGEMENT WILL GRACIOUSLY ALLOW US AS LANDOWNERS OUR TWO BIT COMPENSATION, 
PEOPLE ADJACENT TO THIS AREA, OR ANY OTHER AREA SLATED FOR DEVELOPMENT, WILL 
SUFFER SEVERE NEGATIVE IMPACTS AND RECLEVE NO COMPENSATION AT ALL. 

HOW SEVERE THESE IMPACTS WILL ACTUALLY BE IS UNKNOWN AND THAT IS ONE OF 
THE BIGGEST FAULTS OF THE FORT UNION ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT. THE 
_BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT HAS NOT DISCUSSED POTENTIAL IMPACTS OF ACID RAIN, 
TOXIC WASTES, AIR POLLUTION, OR WATER QUALITY DEGRADATION. PLANNERS PPCMISED TO 
■mamaxl THE OFF SITE IMPACTS TO FARMERS AND RANCHERS IN THE REDWATER MANAGEMENT 
FRAMEWORK PLAN. SUCH AN ANALYSIS WAS ABSENT THERE AND HAS BEEN ABSENT 

FROM OTHER PUBLICATIONS WHICH PRCMISED TO ADDRESS THIS ISSUE. WE ARE STILL 
WAITING FOR THIS INFORMATION. 



154 

155 
156 



157 



Fort Union Regional E.T.S. Hearing 
September 29, 1982 
Glendive, Montana 

My name is Helen Waller. 

I have a few general comments to make. 

1. I believe it would be helpful if the author of the various sections 
was identified. The reference in the Pack simply states names or firms 
but makes no attempt to identify which sections were contracted out to 
whom, or which data wae generated internally. 

2. I received the air quality supplement nine days ago. Because of 
its delay, I would ask that the consent period be extended an additional 

50 days. 

3. Nowhere in the document is the BN/BLM swap, third alternative 
addressed. An environmental assessment of that alternative is neces- 

Hy husband, Gordy and I farm and ranch between the Circle West and the 
Redwater tracts. We have known since 1975 that our farm, along with a multitude 
of others in the HcCone, Dawson, Richland, and Wibaux counties in Montana and 
Golden Valley County, North Dakota was included in a Land Use Plan being prepared 
by the B.L.K., whose activities would ultimately bring us through a series of 
studies and documents leading up to this E.I.S. and on to a scheduled coal lease 
sale in June of 198}. 

This document is the fulfillment of my every expectation! The quality of 
workmanship is consistent with previous publications. It conservatively predicts 
probable community tragedy with the usual candor, and draws conclusions 
firmly founded on documented "unknowns." 

Throughout the planning process, issues critical to the viability of farms 
and ranches outside the lease tracts have been raised with the B.L.M, and th 
promised to analyze the impacts of Leasing on agriculture in the Fort Union region. 
For the record, I am attaching a copy of correspondence with then Secretary 
Frank Gregg, and also with Loren Cabe, Economist for B.L.M. in Billings. 



157 



in March of 


19«1, 


B.L.M, 


ailed me t 


they didn't 


h.-ivr 


the time or money 


ly happen tc 


farm 


and ran 


h operatio 


ies would b« 


conf 


ned to 


mpacts on 


the tracts. 


Now 


if they 


would conf 



groundwater disrupt 

I could accept their scope of 

Despite the fact that th 

land use plans to be prepared 



'i.|M.tis«i, 

vadtng weed seeds/and t< 



Mi lee 


1 1 • | 




> inform me 


probl 






iat would 


1..6. 


trac 


» 


Their 


.neheo i. 


d 


atcly 


e. bw 


, u 


• 


r pollutio 


ostea 


- 




lease trac 



study. But I doubt that will be the 1 
Federal Land 6 Policy and Management 1 
on .■» multiple use, sustained yield coi 



the fact that the Federal Coal Program requires consideration for Lands which 
produce food and fibre, and even though the Federal Coal program also require: 
an assessment of the affects of leasing on adjacent, non-federal lands, the 
B.L.M. has chose 
It's kind of lik 



• Instead, they are satisfied to plead, 
nking the Fifth Amendment. Consequently, most of the impor- 
t impacts to agriculture are not answered in this E.I.S. 



Quest I 



158 



s: How rar from the mines will groundwater be degraded 
and in what direction? What are the results of reclamation efforts in the 
Union? Can cropland be reclaimed to orininal productivity? What will r,e 
impacts of transmission line, pipeline, and railroad rights of way on ranc 
operations? What will the effect of air pollution be on crop yield? What 
be the effects of toxic waste disposal on water quality? How much land wi 
go for cynfuels plants, new county and city buildings, and trailer parks? 
What costs must taxpayers bear before the facility comes on line to ease t 
burden. These quest ,ons are not answered 



lost, 
e Fort 



that there are 



■ many unknowns to evalui 



159 



farm/ranch operations and cost. 

The EIS is full or unknowns. 

AjLli £aifl. The EIS contains only 
It doesn't even attempt to soy whether 
or downwind 

acid rain will probably 
and where it may show 



> E.I.S. 
F "off-a 



Instead the ELS 1 
te" impact might 1 



very general discussion of acid rain, 
acid rain will be a p-oblem in the regi 
n the agricultural "breadbasket" of the country. The ELS says that 
«ther the increase will be significant 
predicted." Really, it»a anybody's 



160 

161 
162 
163 
164 

165 

166 

167 

168 



Toxic Wastes . The .- '['■ 4oes not analyze the effects of toxic wastes from synfueln 
planta on agricullur- or the general population. Although it describes some 
possible pollutants, which are dangerous, (and many are cancer-*ausing) at very 
low levels, the BIS giveo no indication of what, or how much pollutants will 
come out of synfuels plants. The BLM doesn't know— they simply defer to the 
E.P.A. who presently has set no standards, has no plans or budget to do so. 
Heal th effects of Zjntuels Plants . They simply state that "any increased 

health costs associated with breathing conversion plant emissions are not well 

^documented but could be significant". 
Solid Waste . "It 1* still unclear exactly what solid wastes a gasification 
plant will produce " 

~ Air pollution impai-i-. on witgr .[utility . "The 1 n! mr-mot ion necessary to quantify 
the effects of air pollution on water quality in the Fort Onion Coal Region is 
not presently available." 

" Groundwater . "It it impossible to predict accurately how far away from a mined 

_area degraded water will move ..." 

~Trace r.lcment ■ . 



only study going on of trace 
plants in North Dakota showed no effects during 1 
elusions could be reached regarding the long-ten 



coal-fired powei 



ie fiscal impacts 01 
BLM only figured i 









ounty government which 
impacts to city hudgeti 

of the agricultural 
1 know for sure from thi 
tnvironmental impacts tc 



effects" of arsenic, beryllium, 

mercury, and others. 

Other unknowns include < 
would include school budgets 

On the nwjor questions concei 
industry in the Fort Ihion region 
EIS, is that if leasing takes pla< 

This document fails to meet its required purpose as set* forth in the N. E.P.A 
regulations. Section 1500.1 B provides that"NEPA proceedures must insure that 
environmental information is available to public officials and citizens before 
actions are taken. The information must be of high quality." And further 
in Section 102 of the Act 1501.2 I' titates "Each agency shall identify environ- 
mental effects and values in adequate detail so they can be compared 1 
and technical analysis." 



I beli< 



thu 



iU 



. do i 



2-38 



Meanwhile o' n 
Th* Fowder fiver Ui 
Watt's revision o^ i 
Leasing Law, I- he ■-> i 
National Environnioni 

f.s evidenced ' 
one overriding arabi! 
ito the hi 



■ i : ;<nr1 pertir.ent 
:.A- of lost April is bi 
Kin rules and regulatio 
Mine Reclamation Act, tl 
I olicy Act. 
» a« I ions of Secretary I 



: 



i deli 



is depressed, knowi 
coal production frc 

Wyoming mines have 
unable to meet ever 
Sixteen Billic 
not likely to meet 
to an administratis 
Powder River and For' Union lease sales. 

leasee to companies who have not been diligent 
quantities of coal ais provided in present law. 



ctiona are taking place. 

i>- challenged, as well as Sec. 
applying to the Federal 
Land Use Planning Law and 

tt, there appears to be 
the valuable public coal 
even though the coal market 
not available for potential 
mple of years, Montana and 
Be utilities 



' energy industry, evi 
g full wrll that markets are ni 

exist) r-rj mines. For the past 
ecu operating at about 6056 capacity, 
minimum contractual agreements. 

tons of federal coal are already under lease, much of it 
ue diligence requirements. This must be an embarrassment 

which in hard pressed to find justification for the 



> not prudent to istue 
i developing commercio 
leither should congresi 



relax diligence requ 
encourage further abuses 
multitude of tracts for i 

If Interior is successful in de! 
coal reserves, on a -lepreased market 
I believe it would be the most notor: 
Tea Pot Dome. 



That would only sane 
Nor is it is the public 
le which effectively elioinat 



speculation and 
to offer a 
oopetitive bidding. 



i energy companies the public' 
iffective due diligence requu 
or action since the scandal i 



NORTI ERM PI VIMS RESOURCE COUMCIL 



"arch 2*. 1979 



PO eo'SSo 

&lend..e Ml 5«3JO 

(406) 365-2525 



Mr. Prank Greg*, Tlrector 
Bureau of Land Management 
Department of the Interior 
1°00 C Street S.V. 
Washington D. C. 2021.0 
Dear Mr. Cregg, 

Thle letter le li 
Montana hearing on th< 
your willingness to a 
and ranchers living li 
planning process wMcl 



sponse to the request by you at the Billings, 
ideral Coal Management Statement. I appreciate 
1 me to express the concerns or many farmers 
.stern Montana. We simply cannot accept a B.L.K. 
«s not realistically deal with the Inevitable 
i of coal in 



conflict Inherent In promoting the mining and convers! 
established agricultural areas. 

Preaent law requires that Management Framework Plana be based upon 
the multiple-use, sustained yield concept. As I polntad out at your 
appaarance In Billings on October 1 7th, 1973 and again at the hearing 
on January 2k, 19^9, the major reeource in our area, agriculture, has 
been excluded from consideration In the B.L.M. planning process. There- 
fore, the area's agricultural resource values are not presently being 
Inventoried or aaseeeed, and consequently, because of Its omission froa 
the study, thsre le no method by which conflicts between other resources 
and agriculture are being resolved, only Ignored. That Is why I contend 
that the agricultural Industry already established In coal areas, and 
the Dept. of Interior, Bureau of Land Management are on a collision coursel 

I would like to make three general points 'afore going on to specific 
suggestions about needed change In the planning process. 

Point 1^ Data for THa/PAA-SEP/Vf? and EISs must bs gathered and com- 
piled with an unbiased attitude toward all resources. This has not been 



March Zfl, 1979 
Psge 2 



the • 



1 



In the past 

My concept of a planning system would require that the various levels 
of the plan development be done In an unbiased manner—from the resource 
Inventory through the resource analysis, eoclsl consideration, right down 
to resolving conflicts and making recommendations. At preaent, the whole 
B.L.M. planning process le prejudiced toward the development of the coal 
resource. If those responsible far generating and compiling the Informa- 
tion necessary for a good plan cannot divorce themselves from their pre- 
judice toward coal developmsnt, then they have no place In the kind of a 
planning process which I snvlslon as being useful to the declslon-aakers. 
If they are willing to approach their responsibility as dsta gatherers, 
rather than declelon Justlflsrs, then we are ready to proceed with the 
dlscuaalon of thle proposed plan. Cranted that consideration, let ue 

Point 2. Agricultural productivity aa a resource value must be in- 
cluded and given due consideration along with alnerala, forest products, 
range lands, watershed, wildlife, recreation and cultural. 

I contend that If the decision has already been made to lsass the fed- 
eral coal, regardless of the conflicts, then to go through the expense and 
pretense of "planning" and "public partlclpetloo" aakes a mockery of the 
deeocratlc process. If B.L.M. is serious sbout wanting to systematically 
plan for the multiple-use and eusUlned yield of \ 
then ALL resources within the planning area must bs considered. 



1. Quoted froa 

McCone County, Minerals Si 

"Objectlvei Protect and maintain those 

deposits to assure that these lands remi 

leasing and development. 

nationals! Projections published by th. 

Indicate that the consumption of coal li 

1990. fcrpsrts agree that coal can and i 

necessary to shift the energy bass of tl 

whatever the sew energy base and the ma' 

it Is 1 spare tl 



Ishell, Haxby, McCone Draft MTP— Step 1. 



Emphasis 
federally owned landi 
oa federally owned surface and privately owned surface 



Bureau of Mlsss and other agencies 
the United States will double by 
st provide a "bridge" and the time 
United States froa oil aad gas to 
on's pursuit of energy independence, 
oai reaourcee on federally owned lands be do; 
Please note that while the rationale speaks of 
tudy does not distinguish between coal deposits 



March 2°i, 1979 
luge J 

cannot prepare a plan responsibly without examining the agricultural 
resource at the same level at which other lsnd based reaourcee are exaalned. 
While we agricultural people have repeatedly appealed to district, state 
sad national officials, our concerns is this regard, up until sow, have been 
ignored. Ve both heard Mr. Kernels on Oct. 17th of last year stats that thsy 
would draw on the Centaur report far that Information, but frankly, the 
Centaur report does not contain that scope of Information. Please refer to 
Appendix "A" fox a critique of that document. 

Point 2i Although local B.L.M. officials will deny that they ere plan- 
ning far privately owned surface, those of us who have followed the activities 
of the B.L.M. find our land, our livelihood, and way of life threatened, 
while the reeource values which coal development would destroy are gives no 
consideration. 

I believe that as we embark upon this revised approach to planning. It 
Is mandatory that at the outset of the planning process thsre should be a 
distinction sade between publicly owned anrface aad privately owned surface, 
regardlees of the mineral estate. The conflict between the rancher— farmer 
and the B.L.M. does not arise froa the way the public lands (surface) are 
being adslnlstered by the B.L.M., nox in regard to B.L.M. decisions far 
minerals underlying public owned surface. I believe that the local B.L.M. 
administrators have been good stewards of the public owned surface. They 
have shown a consistent deelre to maintain the land's productivity. They 
have been good conservationists. They are to be congratulated. Whore the 
conflict arises is frca B.L.M. apathy toward and disregard for landowners 
who hsvs bought and paid far the surface, devslopsd the farm and ranch 
operation to its present capability, established communities which ws 
are proud to be a part of, built schools which boast of discipline and 



2-39 



honor, while upholding a ci 
prl««t» property. And ncr. 
right, -Ml. alloving--evei 
to our detriser+, regardle! 



latltution which guarant 
•e find an agency of gov> 

promoting the c< 
» of a legltlmat 



right to 

Ignoring that 

be developed, 

e far unacknowledged 

public participation! 

h the land, which la 



conflict— all In the naae of planning, complete wit 

Because of agriculture's unique relationship i 
aleo In common with the coal resource, we find It lnsultlsg that B.L.M. 
should Insist that they axe not planning for private surface. This le 
only a technicality that the Bureau is hiding behind. Neither is It 
practical nor realistic to divorce the ecosystem on one section of land 
from that on the neighboring section. By the nature of our profession, 
we deal with reality, and this can be no exception. The fact ie, If 
federal coal Is recommended for a lease sale, permitting the coal to 
be strip mined, land will be turned upside-down, power plants and gas- 
1 float ion plants will be built, railroads and transaleelon lines will 
cross our property, water supplies will he diminished or destroyed, and 
the remainder of our cropland and graaeland will be polluted to tha point 
of questionable economic viability. The results of decisions alaed at 
public lands could wield death blows to whole faralng and ranching com- 
munities. The potential impacts on private enterprise Bust be Identified 
and dealt with fal *y- Unlike the bakery or banking businesses In the 
community which are quantified In a socio-economic profile, the vary reaourc* 
upon which agriculture depends le in danger of being traded off la the plan- 
ning declelona aade by the Bureau. 

Those are the basic probleas. I would like to suggest thesa poaslble 
solutions. 

Following la the step by step approach to planning that I feel is 
essential to developing Information for the haaagemant Framework Plan. 

Beginning with the resource Inventory level, at which time the resource 
values are Identified and inventoried, a new aectloo net be lacladad — 
Agricultural productivity. This eectlon would be coapoaad of Information 
which la raadlly avallabls. 



of lnformatloi 









Karen 2^ 


, 1979 
P*ga 5 


Subject materia 








land 


present a 

2. lives 

3. other 


pal 


Ully 




b. 


I. crops 


capability 





County Assesses 



Regional B.L.M. Offlc 



County Soil Conservation Dlstrlc 



Social attitudes 

Present cropland use Inventory 

a. cropland acres 
t. productivity 

Present rangeland ues Inventory 

b. livestock numbers 

Animal unit carrying capacity of 
various land classifications 

land Classification 



Solla analysis 

a. Identify fragile areas 

b. identify problea reclalm- 

ablllty areas 

Proa the above Information, along with current smrket reports, economic 
values can easily be computed. Actual Market value of land fluctuates, but 
In no way can It be said to be of as little productive value as Is projected 
In both the Centaur Report and the computation of values of all agricultural 
products sold per acre of land (TABLE H-90) Draft Environmental Statement on 
"ederal Coal Management Program. 

The agricultural owner /ope rat or consultation should take place as soon 
as the split estate ownership \a identified. If landownera are consulted 
early, much lnroruatlon essential to good planning and good public relations 
would be generated, with much resentment averted. If coordinated properly. 



Karch 2«, 1979 
Pagm 6 

the social studies could be conducted during the aame visits. 1 cannot 
stress too emphatically that for the purpose of land use planning, the 
factoring down of national or slate statistics Is totally unacceptable. 
The gathering of thorough agricultural data Is Justified since this In- 
formation 1* essential to making decisions regarding reclaleablllty, areas 
Identified as renewable resource lands, prise farmlands, and ultimately in 
attempting to resolve conflicts and making recommendations. 

The agrlcul*'iral analysis should be conducted unit-wide. Otherwlae those 
In a decision-miking capacity will be Ill-equipped to make multiple land uae 
decisions. The most coipelllng reason for doing a unit-wide agricultural 
analysis, especially in the areas of lover BTU coal is because Industry has 
repeatedly declared that because of the low BTU content of the coal, It must 
be converted on-site. The pollution from those facilities Jeopardltes agri- 
cultural crops and grasslands for many miles around the plant site. All this 
Information must be a part of the K.F.P. so that these factors can be weighed 
and decisions Justified. 

During the analysis of the management situation, with a wealth of 
information on all resources previously gathered, an analysis of the aoclal, 
economic, environmental, and Institutional values can be made. At the 



present time. 


these decision 


» are being mad 


s with 


only 


a part 


eouree ln'araatlon being rem 


sldered. 








The reeo 


urce management 


land use plans 


ahould 


be 


[ire [are 1 


following con 


slderatlons. 










Step 1. 


Should exclude 


all lands wher 




naa 


IndlcaU 



Should Identify and exclude lands unsuitable for alnlng. 
Planning area analysis determinations auat be seriously weighed. 

St«p 2. Identify the eTecte of a decision on other resources. This 

should include an assessment of effectm on non-BIil administered 
lands. 

Genuine rasow 
with careful < 

See appendix "P" for a • 



. Redwaler Planning Unit Social 



Step 3, The resulting land use plans Identify preferred land uses, or 
combination of uses far the area and provide factual Informatl 
upon which management decisions are baaed. 

At this point the K.F.P. is complete and ahould stand on Its own. The 
coal activity plan would proceed from here. Decisions aade, baaed upon In- 
formation generated for the K.F.P. mould have to be Justifiable. At the 
present time we are getting recommendations without Juatlf lcatlon. Past 
experience has taught us the danger or broad dlacretlonary authority granted 
to unreaponslve, ill-informed officials at any level of government. 

I as sure that you have recognised that what I am suggesting In this 
revised planning process does not require any change in the law--only In the 
administration of that law. The local planners are simply not accomplishing 
that which the law already requires. 

A word about "public participation". As the M.F.P.a are now being 
developed, public participation Is a farce. Instead of having any Impact 
on currant activity, we always rind ourmelvee In a posltli 
respond to eoaethlng that seems to be permanently cast — tl 

funds". Us are simply tired or responding , to no avail, I 
Is designed to promote our own destruction. 

The HI lea City B.L.M. occasionally comes 



laving to 



lack of 
that 



a caravan of cars, pi lea of paraphernal! 
convince us that strip mining coal In Kc 
They don't come here to llaten to 
their actions that are so unfair and repulsl 



i to town, about five strong, with 
myriads of saps--det«rmlnmd to 

County la Just what we want. 
They only try to Justify 
< us. And than there's the 



time they went to Wibaux, ".on tana and later reported to thalr auperlora that 
no Interest exists In the -nnni area because no one showed up for the aeetlng. 
What 3.L.M. Miles City neglected to report to B.L.M, Washington, Is that the 
aeetlng was not announced In the local paper and moat people did not know that 
the aeetlng wa< belru; hell! 

We hear so much about the developing of our coal reeources being In the 
national Interest, I admonish anyone In the declalon-maklng capacity to think 
seriously about the preservation of our agricultural lands as alao being In 
the national Interest. 



2-40 



In President. Carter's memorandum 
Secretary of Interior to "manage the i 
It can respond to reasonable produclli 
"here mining Is environmentally a< 
uses." ^arainr a-d mining Just d 



' fay 2k, 1977, he Instructed the 

,1 leasing program to assure that 

goals by leasing only those areas 

ptable and coBpatlble with other land 

t Bill 



Since the rules to administer the Federal land Policy and Management 
Act are just now being considered for public coaaent, and since they call 
for the 2.I.S. to be done in conjunction with the resource plan, and since 
those rules require that Impact on uses of adjacent or nearby non-Federal 
lands shall be considered, It seems appropriate that now le the tine to 
lapleaent this revised approach to planning. 

The proposal I have set forth in this letter constitutes only a very 
cursory explanation of the problea and only general information about its 
Implementation. Should you a^ree to this expanded approach to planning, 
I would appreciate an opportunity to Bake further recosaendations regarding 
the lapleaentatlon program since the baelc Intent of this plan could be 
easily subverted If not administered properly. 

Any general lnforaatlon given in this letter can be furnished in 
specifics. This Is not an Isolated problem with B.L.N. Many "for instances* 
■ere furnlehed to the Dept. of Interior ffo» the Northern Flalns Resource 
Council research coordinator, Sarah Ignatius In a letter of January 27, 1978, 
accoapanled by s]«clflc complaints fro* N.P.R.C. affiliate aeabsrs through- 
out the State. 

As farmer -ranchers In Sastem Montana, we hold In high regard the 
relationship Me have with our neighbors. It is comnon knowledge in these 
parts that we control our property so that the reaulte of our decisions and 
actions will do our neighbor or his property no harm. We have been good 
neighbors to the Public and the lands administered for the Public, and we 
only ask the same consideration In return. 

Very truly yours. 




United States Department of the Interior 



Ms. Helen M. Waller 

Vice Chairman 

Northern Plains Resource Council 

419 Stapleton Building 

Billings, Montana 59101 






Her: 



Thank you for your March 28 letter and enclosures In response to my 
request at t'ip filings hearing. Your letter and enclosures have been 
placed with the comments we are now receiving on the Department's pro- 
posed planning regulations. That portion of your letter which relates 
to the regulations is being considered In the development of final 

specifically to the regulations from Margaret MacDonald for NPRC dated 
March 29, 1979. 

raised In your letter : 

and compile natural 
wards the eventual al- 



flnal planning 

fully 



decli 



condoned In BLM. 

■ policy for BLM ] 



protection proposals 



I can assure you that it 1 
consider the impact of all 
alternatives on both 
proven to be overly difficult for our field employees when dealing with 
physical and biological resources as a majority of the Bureau employees 
are trained in physical and biological sciences. Unfortunately, though, 
the Bureau does not have an adequate cadre of competent individuals 
trained in applying soc io-economlc Impact analysis processes, especially 
in areas of private surface and Federal coal. It is apparent that our 
existing standards and procedures are not adequate either. We are 
attempting to remedy this situation as rapidly as possible by placing 
employees trained In social and economic analysis skills in all of our 
district offices. Until we are able to fully accomplish this goal, the 
Bureau will be required to continue to emplo 1 
consulting firms. We recognize, though, that we need to sharpen up our 
contract requirements to insure that contractors provide sound unbiased 
socio-economic data In their reports. 



Because of my personal concern relative to the Bureau's past use of 
socio-economic data, I have assembled a special task force to analyze 
this area snd provide me with some specific options on how the Bureau 
can improve its handling of socio-economic data. 1 expect to receive 
this study toward the end of May 1979. 

Point 2 - Until the last three to four years. Bureau field employees 
have not had extensive experience in planning areas of private surface 
underlain by Federal minerals. This situation was changed as a result 
of the energy shortage created by the oil produclng-exportlng countries' 
(OPEC) oil embargo and subsequent reduction in oil exports to the United 
States. 

Evidence indicates that the shortage of energy fuels will not subside. 

Therefore, as an agency which manages vast acreage of energy fuels, such 
as coal, we must plan for the future use of these resources. During 

preserved so that our ranchers and farmers can continue to produce 



illfficlent food and fiber 






The Bureau, in conjunction with the Department of the Interior, is in 
the process of developing specific land use planning criteria for areas 
underlain by coal. One of the some 23 criteria being considered is the 
exclusion of areas from future coal development when coal deposits are 
located under prime agricultural lands. 

Point 3 - The whole question of planning for future development of 
Federal coal reserves underlying private surface continues to be one 
of the most difficult problems confronting me. Within the Bureau, we 
are attempting to do our utmost to ensure that Individual landowners* 
property rights are protected and at the same time plan to ensure that 
the nation's future energy fuel needs are met. As you well know, this 
is not an easy task and there is no simple and easy answer which will 
fully satisfy all concerned parties. 

Let me assure you that even though our land use plans may identify an 
area as acceptable for further consideration for coal leasing, a decision 
to proceed with leasing for coal mining will not be made unless (1) the 
Secretary decides on a coal program Including a competitive leasing 
element, (2) if such a decision is made, an adequate assessment of the 
environmental and socio-economic impacts of potential lease tracts are 
fully analyzed, and (3) the surface owner consultation and consent pro- 
visions (Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act) and planning 
requirements (Federal Land Policy and Management Act; Federal Coal 
Leasing Amendments Act) are fully met. In this regard, the Bureau 
considers the public sector, from both a local and national perspective, 
as an important and necessary contributor to the planning-declslonmaklng 



One of my goals as Director of the Bureau of Land Management Is to 
perfect a planning process that fully considers natural as well as socio- 
economic values In a rational and systanatlc fashion. Such a system must 
fully consider the desires of landowners and local communities and 
governments in balance with regional and national needs. I feel our 
proposed planning regulations are headed in the right direction, although 
they still need some refinement. We hope to publish these regulations 
during June 1979. 

In closing, I wish to express my sincere appreciation for the thoughts 



Sincerely youri 



irector % /"*l I 



2-41 






MCP.TI 'I PM PLAINS RISC iURCE C( UhCII 



J M / 'MO 



Mam OM,ce 

4l9$rapl«ionBldg 
BilUqi Ml 5Ch.il 
(406) 3«9- IIS* 



Montana State Hi'l 
Bureau of Land Mn 
PO Box 30157 
Billings, MT ;..)] 



The northern Philns Resource Council ha. 


a few swr.estions and 


to make concern 1 t\c. the draft Requests r 




Economic Analy.iin and Social Attitudes 


urveys. We appreciate 


opportunity to |. e involved in the activ 


ty planning process eal 


rather than having to react to decision 


already made, as has 


the case all l„„ often in the past. 





DESCRIPTION AND J_"ECIFICATIOHS: FORT UNION ECONOMIC ANALYSIS (section 
General: Economic impact should include impacts of transmission line 
right of voy. pipeline right of way, the tipple and other nine faclllt 
(in addition to the mine area), and railroad right of way. 



:_ be collected for 
>le to guoge offsi' 



ore than Just each mine area , 

impacts. Agricultural inventory 
(i.e. the Redvater planning area). 



Employment i 
from an agrl 

development i 



■i-mation should be noted bj_ economic sector — it i3 po 
lural point of viev, to measure the aggregate effect 
•■mploynent without considering what Is happening in i 

' (agriculture, government, service, etc.). 



The contractor ihould also provide an estimate of boom-related i 
{"mlneflation"). This inflation will uniquely Impact agrlcultur. 
alone will haw- to absorb all of the Increased costs with no coi 
Increase in r. v.-nues for agricultural production. 



iity of Montuin, 



b.ti.l: This should specifically Include air qual 

factor. Sources of information could in. lui ■ 

Laboratory and Environmental Studies Library at tic 
and sources that the LaI> might suggest - 

k.k.Si This is vague. It seems to imply that the contractor is to 
perform all manner of research and studies that are currently lackinp. 
While this would be desirable, it is obviously Impossible. We would 
like to know Just what this section calls for on the part of the 



U.U.3: Why isn't part C requ 
made unprofitable by the lmpac 
adjacent facility is Just &9 m 
business by the impa 



s much out of product! 
ither development oloo 



An operatloi 
nose of an 
i put out of 

i a factor of 



of facility waste 



b.k.3.1: This section should specifically include aii 

production. Land should specifically Include so 1 1 3 , &i 

not Just surface area. Water should Include surface wi 

■ay change due to mine run-off, sedimentation, seepage 

water or solldr and'or the seepage $r cog tarsias ted aquifers tnte surface 

water), aquifer disruptions and consequent groundwater looses, groundwater 

qual 1 ty degradation, disrupted groundwater tables and realigned groundwater 

flows (which may result in flooded land, saline seep, or other problems). 

All of these are measurable, more or less predictable, and vitally affect 

agricultural economic viability. 

It. It. 3.2: "Direct Disruption" must be defined so as to Include surface 
required for associated facilities (tipple, storage, etc.) vhieh normally 
occupies a greater acreage than that actually mined. If failure to Include 
indirect disruptions means ignoring aquifers disrupted, polluted, or destroye 
by mtnlr.g and the Impact on aGriculture. U is totally senseless. Such 
disruptions must he included. 



k.U.3.3: 



elude factor competition (capital, lal 



agriculture depends. Labor i 
an Implement dealer, a bank, 
which supply agriculture. Tl 



h depend on agriculture, or on whlrh 
>9ts, for example, will be passed on by 
i grocery storu. or any other enterprise: 
s will increase the costs of production 



lculturol operators, unaccompanied by Increased agricultural 
,d will therefore mean lower returns to the agricultural 



Appendix 3 

Agricultural impacte (#3): The definition of 'taking' of water should 
Include degradation of water quality, since polluted water la no more 
useful than no water at all to an agricultural operator. (A mining 
company may. in aome cases, "replace" an aquifer with n deeper well. 
If the loss of the aquifer is proven by an agricultural operator. 
However, the pumping costs for that deeper well would be greater. 
adding to the agricultural operation's costs. This is a direct 
Impact to agriculture from mining.) 

DEGREE OF QUANTIFICATION AND FORM OF ANALYSIS 

draft if the fictitious examples used 

e agricultural dollar are intended to 

h a breakdown Is part of 



While it is unclear from tl 

regarding the breakdown of 

be roughly representative, 

the information to be contracted or yet to be determined by hlM, It 

should be pointed out that a standard figure for multiplication of the 

agricultural dollar through a rural community Is much higher than 

that indicated by the example. How will this multiplier be determined? 

It should be determined for each community. If possible. 



The use in the example of 
Is there an actualti/unplc 
a mined area that BUM knoi 
consolidated farm operatli 



"relocated" farmers seas very far-feti 
of such a relocation and "consolldatloi 
s of! Doea "consolidated operations" i 
ns? If so, (l) the contractor would hi 



I displaced family farms (o 

lomlcally amenable to cons! 



remaining portions thei 
it Ion, notwithstanding < 



disruption: (2) the contractor would > 
of the consolidated operation to suppt 
would have to analyze the likelihood i 



to demonstrate the abi 
' foremen*: and (3) the < 
a displaced farmer or i 



would want to b,e a foreman", once he Is displaced: such 
arrangements do not substil.lt for a family - owned farm, economically i 
otherwise. Much or the economic return of the family farm operatloi 
comes from the "psychic income" of passing on an opernllon to futun 
generations, an Income lost under the "forcjson" concept. 

CAPS in the contract: 



Agricultural prices: The draft s 
assumptions will be used to proje 
farm Income. These are critical 



ys nothing about what data and 
t baseline trend and post-Impact 
o the results of the study. Farm 



income fluctuates sharply from year to yeor, and very misleading 
results could be obtained ir data from certain years, or from too 
limited a period of years, is used to project form Income. 



How will the results of the contracted i 
between yourself and NPRC stafr at the a 
Cool Team meeting, it is clear that many 
less real) factors exist: low level, lc 
applicable standards; disrupted aquifer; 
fields, and numerous other offstte lmpac 



udy be usedT From conversatl< 
ist recent Fort Union Regional 
"unquantlflable" ((hough no 
ig-term air pollution, within 

the Impacts of tmsmU 
s. These Impacts are s. 



lin 



thn 



) obtalr 



i agricultural productivity, but data is mis 
or is not readily subject to quantiflcatlo 



lng, difficult 



While difficult 
It is possible t< 

publication of Ji 



sympathli 



e quantification certainly exist, and while 
with those fneed with the problems involved 

tlfiable data, without thorough explanation 
be extremely misleading— indeed. It could 

c Impact assessment. 



Similarly, a county-wide approach, measuring net economic impact to 
the entire economy is meaningless to the existing agricultural economy. 
The county wide income In the Rock Springs. Wyoming area Is doubtless 



2-42 



Indued, the entir 



Loren Cabe, paye five 
July 1, I960 



the agricultural sector la almost certainly Lo 1 
pre-grouth economy may be worse off. Impact by_ economic sector is ouch 
more Important than an aggregate net result. Furthermore, even the 
aggregate analysis must include an assessment of the impact on real 
Income per capita in the area. 

It should be noted that many impacts which are being considered as 
'unquantiriable' are the subject of some quantified anulyuis. In regard 
to air quality impacts, for example, see the Montana Ambient Air Quality 
Standards EIS, which cites several studies and reports which include 
general or specific estimates of yield losses for many crops and range 
grasses from various levels of several types or pollutants. We believe 
It would be a mistake to completely dismiss the impact of degraded air 
quality on the agricultural economy as "unquantlfiable", and to give 
only a qualitative analysis. 

SOCIAL ATTITUDES AND QUALITY OF LIFE. 

How will the "community leaders" be selected? 



Will the level of awareness of the respondents he analyzed in relation 
to the types of responses? That is, will the contractor or the study 
team determine If those more informed and familiar with Impact issues 
have different attitudes than those less informed on and familiar with 



Again, thank you for the opportunity to participate at this stage 
In the process. We hope these comments can be used to design the most 
credible and useTul studies. If you have any questions, please do not 
hesitate to contact us. 

Helen Waller, NPBC Chain 



l en pie 

Far 

M2j curiam ic 
M~^rut*resi 



169 



1- The resources, c 
2. The energy compa 



ter are available 
indicated their i 



st in developing 



I*. The preat majority of people in McCone County would like to see so 
of this coal developed. 

I would like to quote fron- an article in the Billinps Gazette, Sept. 
27, 1982. "Colstrip Units 1 h l\ will generate a lot of electricity 
in a few few years-but for no**, they're peneratinp more jobs than any 
other sinple Montana project 

One problem with this coal leasinp procedure, is that it takes too 
lonp I sincerely hope, that if for some reason economic or court 
delays nushes this lease sale nast the 1<»M deadline, we do not have t 
po hack and start countinp mice and so forth T do helieve we have do 
enouph of that sort of thinp. 



People for Economic Prepress members would like to thank the coa 
team and all involed for the effort thev have put into this proi 



j,w'-- ; <U 



M€MO 



CITY / COUNTY PLANNING OFFICE 
MILES CITY / CUSTER COUNTY 

516 MAIN 

MILES CITY / MONTANA 59301 

(406) 232-6339 



2, 1982 



• Aauitanl Planner 



Dear David 
You and I ai 



■ development of 1 



all 



r hopes for growth on natutal resoun 
y resources". If that sounds bold, 
article "Hontanans and Economic Groi 
from The Montana Po ll . I quoted din 



plays its pari 

ces, most especially 



:hat Poll, Dc. Maxine Johnson, reported research. As directo 
:he Bureau of Business and Economic Research, Dr. Johnson kno 
:his state's economy. The poll says 911 - 91% - expect the 

:he article, they say that while many of us think environment 
acting responsibly, "They go overboard. Too extreme. They 
note moderate and not bog things down". A typical reaction 
n Montanans. 



In other works, I 

around ISft of total labor : 

will make an important coni 



report. The 1 



r ou) that 8ft, a very small group, oppose development. 
favoring coal development is ?7ft. Support for gasification 

That report states that the folks in McCone County are 
■ of the lack of job opportunities near home. "Coal" will 



know the market is "soft" right now. "Soft" for cattle, 
>al; "sagging" for workers. But we have to go on with ran 
irming and families an d coal. The USA has a great future. 
■ must balance 1 our foreign trade. Making them rich has m 






For coal, in particular reclamation, there are stringent regulatii 
Montana is tough on the coal industry. We should be tough. And, 
we should befeic. Tough but fair. 



tfS £**#***/ 



2-43 



MAXINF C JOHNSON AND SUSAN SELIG WAFFWORh 



Montanans and Economic Growth 






Attitudes toward growth: Mill 
overwhelmingly favorable, but 
expectations have fallen 



• Montanani oim.hHmm e l. 
endorse at Iran a moderate 

ihr -lair .» the near luiurr 

• In June 1381. si In* hall Dl 

il,.,.. polled fell Ihj. Ihr VI. .n 

wdl or rMirmrl. well That 
proportion is down 10 onr-ihird 



lodan 

• Respondents 



t ?nv. 



• Those pxlled lirnrrjlli nrwrd 

ul «mu|» ii holding back 

• Honianaiu air ahum event* 

split as 10 whether mjj.ii 

• Monuiu Poll ratulU now and a 
year ago indicate Oil I Mon- 



ItiMui in mt; ciimili who 
helps and who hinders? 



i ihme polled general h 






methinp hate changed tinrr a ptniidiml. j moderate j moor 

-notably Monianant naluaiion growUi wti l hi new i... 

k .„'i... ihfluniir In June *p.irol ihr current problem. 11 

lra»i hall ol ihoie polled lett rhji area, Win MnnuiuiH .hjtr 



i I~hai| 



badly ot .er. b*ll. Inu 



11 M) pereenl nl the responder 






Labor unions rm ihc mhrr hjnd i 











S » "^ "T ^7 






Tabic 2 






^L V. SLS. 






Table 5 






SaL B- -™- ■*=- -^ 











iii i in ir, nidi, nul lundiUdl "hrii 

■ii negative imp,.. rDngl 

ttlopmmi in pj ,Iji 11,, i go 

.ir moderate and hot; ihingi 






«1mii im.kini: il.rn.mJv I... »..«.■. .,nd 

stinking mndiuotu and an- no. taking Minrd big buHITCU » acting 

nmduiontaridihrrranainv in general |M „,,i,. „„. i,„„ ,i,. i..,,^. „ ... 

<>.,. „.,. ln ,ir..i summed ii up ihii was ,„ 

rhn lurpatliriK i omudi . Political prefa i tp< 

si.iLrxhun ihr rnnrr reonoms I..,, ihr .„ , u , ,,, 



and i o ■ Growth Johnson and Wellvoi 



ftq I"..... .11.1 l.llxr IHl.i, 



\ i hanging political 



Growth .mil the quality ol life 



MONTANA BUSINESS QUARTERLY Autumn 1982 






lives, rnpondenu wtrt slightly less than Ii 

jiiaiiic. A small major! iy agreed ihr wo 



i ,l.l..,.. ( h 



2-44 



CHAMBER OF COMMERCE & A G R I C IHTtfR^riTC^ <?—^ 

\jlasgow ABA v 




BOX 832 GLASGOW MONTANA 5923 




September 22, 1982 



A natural function of any Chamber of Commerce is to promoi 
the growth of its community and to welcome new business ventu: 
within the area it serves. 

It is with this purpose in mind we offer our supj 
Circle Chamber of Commerce in their endeavor to secure the ve: 
desirable complex known as Circle West to locate near their c 
in McCone County. 

An important part of the developers plan calls for the sei 
of coal leases on land controlled by the U.S. Government. We 
our voices to those who are petitioning your agency to allow 
leasing of this land, with the pleasant consequences of turni 
a rather non productive area into one offering many jobs and 
sundry benefits accrued from planned venture by private capit 



Hand, President 







resourcesSmc. 



Lloyd Emmons 
Project Manager 
Fort Union Proje. 



- Mr. Emmons 



The following comments reflect the views of Wesco Resources, Inc. on tl 
Draft E1S for the Fort Union coal region. Our comments for the most 
part will be directed only to the areas considered for leasing In the 
Circle area which Is the area designated in Wesco's expressions of 





w* 


ore Wesco presents Its specific comments, there are some areas that 
have noticed that should be corrected. These are: 


170 




1. Page 19 - Bedwater Tract 11. The surface map legend key 

is incorrect. State and Private Surface color key indications 
should be switched. 


171 




2. Page 91 - The picture showing mule deer should reflect either 
western North Dakota or eastern Montana, not western Montana. 


172 




3. The State Legislature action found In Appendix B pages A4 
and A5 should reflect the proper legal cites to the new 
Montana Codes Annotated and not R.C.M. 1947. 


173 




k. In the References section page R-l, there Is no mention 

of the study done by Weatech of Helena on the wildlife in the 
Redwater area. The report was finished and sent to the Miles 
City BLM in December of 1981. 




of 
Fo 

ef 


following comments are specific comments on the draft itself. First 
all, it is a pleasure to have the opportunity to comment on the Draft 
t Union Coal Region EIS. To say the least, it ia a massive undertaking 

Wesco Resources, Inc. compliments the BLM and its staff for their 

orts. 




Me 


co's following comments are In relation to the EIS and its application 
the McCone County area where the Circle West tracts and the Redwater 







Lloyd Emmons 


Page 2 


September 29, 1982 


tracts are located. As the BLM Is aware, Wesco has been involved In 


this area for the past nine years. Wesco has cooperated with the BLM 


along the entire leasing process and even before the area was to be 


considered for the upcoming competitive federal coal leasing. During 


this time. Wesco has seen the plans for the BN owned Dreyer ranch change 


from a fertilizer from coal process to a synthetic diesel fuel project 




to the latest proposal which Involves a coal exchange with the BLM. The 




proposed exchange presents a problem for Wesco, and ue feel It is an 




Improper action on the part of the BLM to Include the proposed exchange 




in the EIS process at this late date, especially when the BN, like 




Wesco, has expressed its Interest to have the coal leased. There is 




nothing in the EIS that speaks to the leasing target and the effect the 




exchange would have on the replacement of tonnages if the proposed 




exchange Is completed. It also seems improper to continue to consider 




the exchange when there has not been a determination of whether or not 




the exchange is In the public Interest. It would follow, too, that the 




legal Issues that may exist with the exchange should also be addressed 


-1 ^t A 


before the Impact of the exchange is addressed in this EIS document. 


174 


To elaborate on these points and for the record, Wesco opposes the 




proposed coal exchange for the following reasons. When the EIS addresses 




the end use of the coal and says that a synthetic fuels plant will be 




available for two plants on the two resulting 350 million tons blocks of 




coal, it fails to consider Montana's stringent plant siting laws and the 




rural nature of the area. Montana would probably not allow the siting 




of two plants in close proximity to each other. The EIS also falls to 




recognize that a synthetic fuels plant cannot economically exist unless 




it has la excess of 500 million tons of coal. In fact, the plant being 




constructed In North Dakota has in excess of one billion tons of coal reserves. 




If only one plant can be sited in the Circle West area, how does this 




benefit the public? 


Wesco recognizes that many of these concerns are being addressed In the 


document to be done by the Miles City BLM District Office. However, it 


would seem to be more prudent to have the key legal issues and the 


public Interest test addressed before the public pays to do a separate 


study as well as consider the exchange possibility in the Draft EIS, 


especially if these Issues throw the exchange out of further consideration. 




The Fort Union Coal Team has concluded that Alternative 3 is the preferred 


-1 —IC 


alternative which includes the coal subject to the proposed exchange. 


1 #T 


There is no discussion of what happens to the leasing target if the 350 


1 ff <*S 


million tons is exchanged. In other words, would other tracts not 




presently included in the final leasing target be made available for the 




_coal lease sale? 






176 


In Wesco's opinion, the ranking of the tracts and the reasons given for 









Lloyd Emmons 




Page 3 




September 29, 1982 




ranking the Redwater tracts low in comparison to the Circle West tracts 




are unjustified. Wesco conducted a survey of the Circle area attitudes 




toward coal mining in the summer of 1980. Development was favored 


1 ~1(2 


across the entire county by nearly 90% of the sample. The discussion 


1 /o 


about the Redwater River and the potential damage to It by mining the 


m. m ^J 






is aware of that the Redwater River is used for crop irrigation. In 








also understand that the water quality is very poor. 




Wesco believes that the BLM's approach to predict what the end use of 




the coal will be Is a mistake. In the not too distant past, there was a 




study done called the North Central Power Study. This raised Intense 






177 


energy and power development. The economic constraints to synfuels 


development as well as the lack of demand for lignite coal power generation 




makes the projected use estimates literally useless and misleading. In 




Wesco's opinion, the presence of abundant water for industrial use and 




the presence of significant coal reserves makes the Circle area attractive 




primarily for synthetic fuels development. 




The socio-economic impacts to Circle would be great whether Circle West 




or the Redwater area were developed. Wesco does not believe, however, 




that the Circle West site has a lesser Impact than the Redwater area on 


1 7ft 


Circle. Since the Redwater tracts are nearer to Circle, many of the 


1 /O 


necessary social services are near at hand. At least under initial 




development, while the impact may be great to Circle, Wesco believes the 




proximity of the in place social services would favor the Redwater area 




over Circle West. 




Wesco does not hold Itself out as a reclamation expert, but more data 




would have to be made conclusive to show that the Redwater area is more 




difficult to reclaim than the Circle West area. Wesco believes the 


1 7Q 


contrary Is true because of the nature of the terrain which is mostly 


1/^7 


rolling dry land wheat production and grazing. The fact that the Redwater 




area has crop lands should not preclude it from development, especially when 








consents where the landowners have given permission to surface mine the 


1 nn 


coal. Nothing is mentioned in the Draft EIS about how the landowners 


lOU 


who have given their consents to mine would be affected by the proposed 




exchange. There is nothing discussed about the terms of the two coal 


1 Q1 


reservations that exist in the BN and federal patents. Since the two 


1 O 1 


coal reservations are different, in what manner and how would they be 




exchanged? 




Wesco would like to take exception with the statement made on page 73 


1 ftv 


regarding the Redwater tracts. Rationale was given by Wesco at the 


1 0<£ 


regional coal team meeting and at other meetings for inclusion of the 




Redwater tracts In the preferred leasing alternative. Wesco did not agree 



2-45 



Page U 
September 29. 



182 



183 



Coal Team 



i Justify leaving the Bu 
ve and ignore tracts of inn 
especially when It Is appan 
the leasing process. 



,al thought Is t 
River Coal Regi 
that have valid 



al le. 



preferred leasing alti 



in,' process itself. Applying Che 
le procedures of April 28. 1982, ynly thos. 

es the same will be true in the Fort Union region. There- 
harm is done if all the designated tracts are put up for 
n the Powder River sale, the initial leasing alternative 
1.4 to 1.5 billion tons. The Secretary picked the ma.i-nun. 
made all the tracts available for leasing. When the sale ( 
racts dropped out because of refusals to consent, and two 
lved no bids. The result was the leasing of the original 



To | 



, lude 



fo 



sing and noi 



hat those 


■ 


rep 


lace 


tonna 


..■> 


hat wo 


ild drop 


out or re 


eive 


s. pot en 
ales. E 


tlally affe 


the 


lie 
fedc 


ompct 


al 


easing 


attemp 


ted in fed 


ral 


al Team 
g intere 


ri«:°iTJ:i 


les 

of t 


o cle 
y of 


tllL- 

tiv 
If 


leasing, espe 
the tracts can 


easing, no 

t ranking 
-lally una 
flear the 


* 


ability 


process and 


.r- 


.,-■.! 


lable 


for 


leasinc, thev 


should be 




in the 








d the 




e and t 


le interes 


cd 


s should 


decide uli.-l.hct 


or r 


ot th 


cr 


.cts ar 


J leased 






Resource 


s, Inc. app 


-eel 


ates 


the opoor 


unity 


o offer 




„„„. 














Yours 


very tr 


Jiy. 
















WESCO 


RESOURCES. INC. 
















By '■ 









NORTHEPM PLAIMS RESOURCE COUNCIL 



*6c*f 



Box 85H 

Helen*, MT 59H01 

(406) 44J-4965 



Muta Office 

419 Staplcion Building 

B gs, Ml 50101 

HUli) 248-1164 



Field Office 
Box 886 

(jlcndivc. MT 59330 
(40*>( 365 2526 



i Taylor, Wolf Point. 



184 



185[ 



186 



187 



Testimony of Glen and 1 
Se^jtember 29, 1982 
Glendive, rtmtana 
Fort Union EIS 

He ranoi on Prairie Elk, north of the Circle West tract discussed in 

this EIS. To start with, we don't believe the coal lease sale is needed. 

Tiiere isn't any demand for the coal — for production, anyway. It seems 

to us that the only result of tliis lease sale will be speculation by energy 

<xt\jaiu.es. A couple of companies will tie up the coal, just as oil has 

oeon tied up by a couple of companies. 

And, as taxpayers, we object to the government selling the public coal 
to these companies for what will probably be bargain-basement prices. 

also don't believe this EIS discusses all the impacts of coal leasing 
and synfuels development on agriculture and on our communities. 

There is a possibility that development of the Circle West tract will 
mean a railroad up Prarie Elk — through our ranch. The EIS doesn't 
tell us anything about how this would affect us, how much it would add to 
our operating costs, or whether we could still operate at all with a 
railroad through tlie place. 



rif the coal veins in circle West, which are our aquifers, Are ripped up, 
we stand to lose our wells. The EIS says that the mining companies 
would have to replace them. But with what? Hew much would we have to pay 



187 



188 



for extra pumpiny costs for deeper wells? Where are the deeper aquifers 
to replace our wells? What is the quality of that water? How can we 
prove damages to the wells we're using now, when the BIM hasn't got data 
on the quality arr'. quantity of aquifers that will be affected by mining? 
The EIS makes compensation sound real easy, but we don't know how we'll 
make out taking a multinational corporation to court to get it. The 
Interior Department has been up against these companies in court, so they 
sinuld know how tough that is. 

The EIS says workers will commute to Circle West from Glendive and Circle, 
by taking Highway 200 to Flowing Wells, and then taking highway 24 and 
a couple of miles on a county road. That's a 46 mile trip from Circle. 
We think they'll take the Horse Creek road instead, since it is about 
15 or 16 miles. The EIS should have analyzed the impacts to that road, 
not ]ust higliway 200 and 24. 



190L 



impacts to agriculture from this lease sale will be "miniscule". 

We can't afford several thousand people in Circle — that's too much 
all at once. With that kind of a boom, the type of people who will be coming 
in, we wouldn't want our kids going to Circle. 

We can't afford a railroad through our place, or to lose our wells, or 
bo have our cattle poached or our town flooded with construction workers. 
The taxpayers can't afford to have BLM dump public resources on a soft 
coal market. We can't affocd it, and we don't need it. Thank-you. 



189 



The LIS also doesn't figure that anybody working at Circle West will live 
at Wolf Point. That seems short-sighted — probably a lot of people would 
live in Wolf Point. If they do, they'll take the shortest route to 
Circle West — on the Prairie Elk Hoad, right past us. Are we going to 
have to deal with vandalism, theft, and poachers? Can we have school 
children and cattle out on the road with a stream of traffic pouring each 
way on that road with every shift at the mine and the plant? How is it 
going to affect our ranch to have a major traffic artery going through it? 



190[ 



■ EIS doesn'' 

<w how BLM c 



talk about these kinds of costs to agriculture. We don'1 
ignore these costs, and still conclude in the EIS that 



2-46 



191 



192 







<5^-^^" 







^C*6*u <? « 






193 

194 
195 



September 28, 1982 

Mr. Chairman i 

In May, 1982, I attended your public meeting in Glendive, 
Montana. I asked you at that time what you would do. if your 
boss ordered you to make a decision regarding Fort Union coal 
development which was contradictory to the wishes of the 
majority of the people as expressed during your public meetings. 
Your response was that you would do whatever your superior told 
you to do because you want to keep your job. This indicates to 
me that public input is of no consequence in the final analysis. 

Your own coal team recommendation of development was 400, MB 
to 800, Off) ton on May 28, 1982. Iassume that this recommendation 
came from public input. However, on August 28, Sary Corruthers 
indicated that the tonnage would be 300-,««'*to l,2billionJ#V. 
This overrode public input and changed the choices in tracts 
to be used for development. It appears that all the tracts 
must be used, so what is the point of public input in the EIS? 

Is there a proven need for this development—what study 
substantiates a need? I believe there are federal leases for 
■•8, 000, 000 acres, mostly undeveloped, and apparently there is 
no need at the present. 

I would like to comment that I feel water is a critical 
element to be considered in this development. According to a 
report from the state of Montana, there are only approximately 
*2,000 acre feet of water in the Yellowstone River for UBe in 
development. How much water do you plan to use? 

If the development proceeds according to your plan, there 
will probably be no further need for the BLM because we will have 
reverted back to the great American desert. 



,7 yv^\'\M\~- 

L.M. Moline, D.D.S. 



A 



(tick &**J. 



196 




197 



198 









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2-47 



198 
199 



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CIRCLE 
CHAMBER 

o/ 
COMMERCE 

AGRICULTURE , 

.CIRCLE, MT. 

59215 y 



October 4, 1982 

Kr. David Darby 

iroject Manager, Fort Ir.icn lro.,ect 

Sure u of Land i.anage ent 

Billings, Kont. 

Dear ;.r . Darby : 

r e circle C ainhei of Commerce arid Agricult 



201 



Tteie a: 
..e feel 
ranking. 



o currents t..at we uave at this tii 
the Kc Cone county tracts should 



The other is we sin 
does not^fhc leasin 

special interest gr ujj. 




Sincerely 

iv. ^ 

Dove Kasten 
(resident 



DEPARTMENT C 
THE* LIE IN 




: EASTERN HONTAHA AREA I 
COAL TVCTS IK KcCONE < 



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WE. THE UHDERS ICHZD RESIDENTS OF THE EASTERN MONTANA AREA URGE THI 
DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR TO LEASE THE COAL TRACTS IN McCOKE COUNTY t 









.4 . *u— C7 _ 



O^.fl. ,. 



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G^_& "Hi*. 



^^ »a^ 



.A.nJ.*y AI7- 



2-48 



JJ-^Wd-Q 



~£Cjt. 






. TRACTS IN *cCOHE C 
1LE WATER AND COAL 



&■*/*? >v..--,~ 



xr^^^rfrS^- 



-UwC ^~« I 



■ tf.W-N 



?•'<:■ 



.-/'.,■ ?7* 



5* 



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$*< 



v mimm i,l of the Int. 
i Wjw- (legion 



202 
203 

204 



To: State Director, Bureau of Land Management, Billings, Montana 

rom .$? *pnion«l Oi rector. Bureau of Reel ana t ion, Billings, Montana 



'ironmentat statement { DES) and have 



On page 105 of the DES. the Bureau of Reclamation was erroneously named 
as a participant in the preparation of the state of Montana Department 
of Natural Resources and Conservation (ONRC) report. Me furnished the 
operational study model with caveats and the inflow data. The assumptions 
made thereafter are theirs. 



On 



you i 



the same page, average and minimum annual water availability figures 
no the Yellowstone River at Sidney, Montana, were extracted from the 
.ft DNRC report and not the final report dated May 12, 1982. We suggest 



the r 



i gun 



In thv 



al 



Tt 



al 



availability" of water was not included and we suggest that this quantity 
be deleted or, at least, fully explained in the subject OES by listing all 
the depletions. When the "average annual availability" figure is revised. 
care should be taken in distinguishing between the average and the median 
quantities. The Bureau estimates that 243.000 acre-feet could be nade 
available annually out of Yellowtail without affecting existing or likely 
future uses. 

On page 7 under the cultural features issue, second paragraph, the first 
sentence mentions that two sections of the Dunn Center tract fall within a 
district which has been declared eligible for the National Register of 
Historic Places. On page 24 the surface ownership map of Dunn Center 
indicates that approximately three sections of the proposed Knife River Flii 
Quarry National Register District are within the tract boundary. This 
discrepancy needs clarification. 



Specific Analysis do ! 
He understand as many 
inclusion into the Na 



204 



ions of the regional DES and Dunn Center 
oint out the significance of these resou 
4 other sections have been considered fo 
1 Register of Historic Places on or near 
Dunn Center tract as well as the three sections mentioned. In light 
of this knowledge, more than just an all or none programmatic approac 
to lease is needed in order to comply with the CEQ regulations, secti 
1502.14, concerning alternatives and mitigation measures. For exampl 
tracts might be leased excluding sections with significant features 
and the impacts analyzed accordingly. 



the 



The 



1e 



:ad agency in preparing the EIS for the proposed Dunn- 
Nokota Coal-to-Methanol project which would use coal from one of the 
tracts being considered for lease. The scoping session for this project 
revealed cultural resources in this are* arc nationally significant and 
were a major concern of many participants. It would be helpful if this 
issue is resolved before our draft statement on the plant is distributed 
so we can adopt the 8LH document without needing to supplement the coverage 
of this topic. 

If you have any questions or which to disci 
contact Mr. George Walker (FTS 585-6605) ii 
Affairs. 



<Z^ 






United States Department of the Interior 

FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE 



of Land Management. 



Uraft 
Supple 



The Fisn and "wildlife Service (F*S) has reviewed the subject document as well 
IS a iociated 8LM documents pertaining to the Fort Union Coal Region OEIS. A 
offer the following consents for your consideration. Many of tnesf comments 
were previously provided to your staff in June. 1982, following a review of 
tlie preliminary OEIS. These comments are submitted in accordance witi our 
lecnorandum of Understandiny (MOU) on coal, the national BLM/FIJS MOU and coord 
nation responsibilities under the Federal Coal Management Program (FCMP). 
These comments have also been j,ri.yared under the authority and in accordance 
witn tne provisions of the Fish and "Ji ldli fe Coordination Act (48 Stat. 401. 
as amended; 16 U.S.C. et seq.). They are alsj consistent with the intent of 
tne .National Environmental Policy Act. 

Gei ler a 1 Co mments 

This DEIS disc<JSs:_>s the proposed leasing of 7 production maintenance/by-pass 
and 17 new production coal tracts in eastern Montana and west-central itorth 
Dakota. Tnese tracts involve tne leasing of federal coal administered by the 
BLM to ne^t the leasing target of 0.8 to 1.2 billion tons of federal coal 
established by the Secretary of the Interior. 

Under this DEIS, 6 coal leasing alternatives were con 
the Regional Coal Team (RCT). In addition, the Woods 
Application (PRLA) and Meridian Exctunge Proposal wer 
tion with alternative 3. The RCT preferred alternati 
ified by removing the Central Bloomfield 



dered and evaluated by 
i Preference Right Lease 
considered in conjunc- 



TlM 



alt -r 



liable tor leasing. 



did i 



>\- ■<:,:. 



i ton 



2-49 



205 



we unJi_-i r i t-ind that it would be difficult, unnecessarily expensive and very 
time consuming to provide the public witn a comprehensive, complete DEIS that 
included information provided in other BLM planning documents pertinent to 
the Fort Union Coal Project. However, we believe it would be beneficial to 
include abstracts or summaries of certain information, if available. By 
memorandum dated April 29, 1982, (copy attached) this office responded to 
BLM's Addendum Document on the West-Central North Dakota Management Framework 
Plan and application of unsuitabi 1 lty criteria. A Decision Document was 
subsequently issued in August, 1982. We believe that wildlife information now 
available from this document and counterpart documents for Montana should be 
Summarized and incorporated into the final EIS. Specifically, acreages of 
wildlife habitats affected by the unsui tability process versus total acreage 
of wildlife habitats should be discussed in both Chapter 2 - Affected 
Environment and Chapter 3 - Environmental Consequences. 



fce. 



flC Comments 



under the heading, Assumptu 



206 



207 



208 



iing 



ith i 



al 



rong bas 



oj - To "assume that post- 
ing use", in our opinion is 
lysis of the impacts 
es. It can be shown 
ve rangelands 



fac 



Idlife Resoi 



in North Dakota that most wetland! 

destroyed during mining of privately owned surface are be 
cropland. Your analysis on page 48, under the heading, W 
alludes to this It is stated: "Wetlands, woodlands and 
destroyed during mining would be restored or replaced unl 
with the lawful desires of the surface owner." 



, under the heading. Specia l Tract Stipulations (Wildlife I 



•xpanded to include appropr 
packages, including constraints that .nay be placed on potential lease 
areas prior to the competitive lease process. Such constraints should no 
be delayed to the mine permit stage. It is recommended that a mutually 
accepted definition of "demonstration" for reclamation be developed by 
BLM, OSM, state regulatory agencies and wildlife agencies. It should be 
noted that BLM does not have any criteria for assessing successful reclam. 
relating to their special reclamation stipulations. 

The legal question of BLM's authority to require reclamation of wildlife 
habitats on private surface over federal minerals "when opposed by the 
landowner" should be addressed in the DEIS. Another related top' 
should be addressed is that of bond 
requires wildlife habitat restorati 
habitats will remain after bond rel 



that 
itipulatio 
sts that these 



3. Page 90-92. under 



i in heading, Wildlife - The mos 
habitat and key species are discussed under this sect ii 
that a list of wildlife species occurring or expected 
Union Area be included in a summary table or appendix. 



itability lists should be denoted. 



valuable wildlife 
i. It is recommended 
> occur in the Fort 

Those key species 



209 



Page 91 - last pa r agraph un der t he heading, W i ldlife a nd Wildlife Habitat - 



We find this section inadequate and incomple 
liame and Fish Department conducted an evalua 
Each stream was rated on a scale of 1 to 4, 



In 1978. North Dakota 
i of permanent streams. 
i those rated at 1 considered 
of critical importance, and those rated at 4 of limited value. Criteria 
considered in the evaluation included the sport fishery, use by wildlife 
reclamation potential, recreational use, aesthetic value, and water quality. 
In North Dakota, the Knife River and its tributaries, Antelope. Brush, 
Coyote, Spring and Otter Creeks, have been placed in category 1 -- highest 
value. In addition, the Little Missouri River and Beaver Creek, a tributary, 
are placed in category 1. A short description of these stream values 
fol lows : 

a. Kni fe River - The Knife River from Highway 22 at Manning to 
the Missouri River is rated as critical importance for 
several reasons. It supports a highly valued sport fishery 
on channel catfish, walleye, sauger, northern pike and 
white bass. The entire reach also provides a large amount 
of forage fish production, and reproduction of several 
sport species including northern pike, channel catfish, 
walleye and sauger. This reach also maintains good fur- 
bearer populations throughout. The river and its floodplain 
are highly valued aesthetically and would be very difficult 

to reclaim or mitigate for losses incurred by coal development. 
Current water quality is severely degraded by overgrazing, 
agriculture and feedlot runoff, and municipal waste from 
several communities. Siltation and reduced seasonal flows 
are already inhibiting fish migrations. Therefore, high 
flows in the spring are essential for continued fishery 
values; reduced or stabilized flows would be very detri- 
mental. 

b. Antelope Creek - The reach from the former Shramm Dam to 
the Kni fe River has a "critical" rating because of its 
excellent forage fish production, northern pike reproduction, 
and a moderate sport fishery near the mouth for northern 
pike, channel catfish and walleye. 

c. Brush, Coyote and Otter Creeks - These reaches from their 
headwaters to the Knife River are rated "critical" because 
of extremely high forage production. This production 

serves as a part of a forage base for the sport fish populations 
in the Knife River. 

d. Spring Creek - The reach from Lake Ilo National Wildlife 
Refuge to the Knife River provides moderate forage 
production and reproduction of several sport fisheries. 
It also maintains good furbearer populations. Its main 
asset is Us continuous water flow as a result of springs. 
The water flow from these springs is vital to overwintering 
of both sport and forage fishes in the creek and also in 



portu 



of the Knife Riv 



209 



Beaver Creek - The reach from the Montana border to the 
Little Missouri River is rated as "critical" primarily 
because of its importance in maintaining one of the best 
furbearer populations in the state. It is also valued 
because of moderate forage fish production and reproductii 
of northern pike, channel catfish and sauger. The area 
through which the creek runs is extremely rugged and wouli 
be very difficult, if not impossible, to reclaim. 



iggest that the fishery section for the North Dakota por 
i DEIS be expanded to include the abovementioned rivers 



creeks. 



210 



211 



212 



Page 99, under the heading , . Acid Precipitation - The discussion on acid 
precipitation and power plant emissions should be expanded to address the 
issue of white muscle or dead-calf syndrome and potential impacts to wildlife. 
In laymen's terms, sulfur from power plant emissions accumulates in vegeta- 
tion (e.g. alfalfa, tame pasture, native prairie). When this vegetation is 
ingested, the sulfur tends to inhibit selenium uptake which is important in 
neuro and muscular activity, especially during stressful periods. This 
phenomenon has been documented by Dr. Hastings, a veterinarian from Mandan, 
North Dakota, for dead born calves near power plants and can be substantiated 
by numerous ranchers near the power plants. The impacts on wildlife such as 
white-tailed or mule deer have not been assessed to date. 



Page 123, 1st paragraph under the heading. Wild! i fi 
disagree with the statement, "the impacts from inc 
would be insignificant, and the acreage ' 
be considerably less than the other alt. 
and other ancillary developments 



Midlife (Alternative 1 ) - We 
■om increased human populatio 
Midlife habitat destroyed wo 
tives, as the powerlines, roa' 

with the new plant construct 

luld not occur." This statement is misleading since some of the facili 
are under construction (Antelope Valley Power Plant. ANG Coal Gasificati. 
Plant) and little mining has occurred in this area to date. The constan 
higher consumptive and nonconsumptive 



hin-l . 



the 



fi Idlife 



7. P age . 1 23, 2nd & 3rd paragraphs under the heading. Wild! 1 fe (Alternat 
The major' point made here is that the federal coal areas to be mined 



ificdnt wildlife habitats, 
more rough and broken topography and con 1 
concur with your assessment that mining \ 
areas if the federal coal is not leased, 
areas would be significantly reduced. 

It is stated that the federal coal areas 
and Beaver Creek drainage of the Renner ' 
tract contain 34,421 acres of native pra 
5,417 acres of woodlands. You further 
be destroyed during mining if federal 
statement should be supported or clari 



ve 1 ) - 

contain 
federal coal areas contain the 
gh wildlife values. We 
.till occur in the surruunding 
■r. wildlife impacts to these 



i on the Glenharold, northern portion 
tract and portions of the Underwood 
airie, 4,444 acres of wetlands, and 
>tate that most of these areas would 
jal is not leased- How? This 



213 



214 



Page 124. last paragraph under the heading. Wildlife (Alternativt 
paragraph discusses the potential use of strip mine pits to enhar 
opportunities. Based on current fishery management experience ir 
Dakota, we believe these "excellent opportunities" are overrated. 
bodies of water in North Dakota pose particular fishery managemer 
because they are subject to chronic problems such as winterkill, 
and water quality degradation from agricultural runoffs and silta 
These impoundments generally require significant management effor 
maintain a viable and harvestable fishery. Ponds created from st 
pits in the state would most likely suffer from similar problems 
potential contamination from leaching of sodic overburdens, heavy 
dissolved solids, and salts. The potential 1 imi 
in this section. 



North 
Small 
problems 

ummerkill . 



should be discussed 



_2) - The 






prairie has achieved 
i production equal to premining conditions, but species mix and 
diversity has been more difficult to reach. However, it appears that 
reclamation would be adequate for wildlife and impacts would be short-term." 
We believe these statements are misleading. Drastic changes occur to the 
plant and animal composition on native grasslands when the grasslands are 
destroyed. Vegetation on native grassland is composed almost entirely of 
deep-rooted (up to 15 feet) perennial or biennial plants that have evolved 
under conditions of grazing, burning and extreme fluctuations in climate. 
Variations in soil moisture, slope, direction of exposure, and geologic 
origin create a variety of grassland plant associations. Only a few studies 
have been conducted to determine the total biological productivity of native 
prairie in North Dakota. Those studies that have been conducted, however, 
indicate that native prairie supports diverse and abundant populations of 
Oirds, mammals and invertebrates. For example, during a 1967 study by 
biologists at the Fish and Wildlife Service's Northern Prairie Wildlife 
Research Center, native prairie was found to support an average breeding 
bird density of 142.7 pairs/km . The breeding population of birds included 
a minimum of 26 species. Most mammal species in North Dakota are dependent 
in one way or another on grasslands. Carnivores, except for aquatic-orientatei 
species, secure most of their food from grasslands in the form of birds, 
mammals, amphibians, reptiles and insects. Carnivores such as red fox, 
coyote and badger generally choose this habitat for rearing young. Grasslands 
are essential for ground squirrels and many other small mammals. Reclamation 
of native prairie has been advanced further than woodland or wetland reclamati< 
it adequate for wildlife and to consider the impacts short- 



' opn 



is pr 



Mlur, 



We appreciate this opportunity to providi 
Union Coal Region. If you require addit 
please contact Roger Collins (783-4492) i 



Attachments (2) 



comments on the DEIS for the Fort 
inal information or clarification, 
- Steve Young (783-4406) of my staff. 



.&■*?. tftf 



2-50 



RO. Oenve 


(ENV) 




(Attn: F 


Cole) 




WS. OEC, 


rfashlngto 


, D.C. 


ES Super, 


sor. 8(11 


nqs. Ml 


(Attn: D 


Christopnerson) 


BLM. Olck 






(Attn: C 


Steele A 


M. Hoffer) 


NOTjSFD, 8 






(Attn: n 


McKenna) 





District Manager, Bureau of Land Management 
Dickinson, North Dakota 

-■t^i&a Manager 
V" Bismarck, north Dakota 

U- West-Central North Dakota Management Franewort. Plan Addendum (Ma 
15. K82) - Wildlife Unsuitahllity Pee omendat ions 



The Fish and Wildlife Service (FVS) hi 
as associated BLM docunents on the Wo; 
Rccorrcndatlons [Kay 1S8P), Decision [ 
(July irei). V.C offer the following < 
areas to be excluded fron further cons 
the analysis 



s reviewed the sub, ect docuncnt as 
t-Ccntral Management Framework Pla; 
ocuncnt (September 1 *C0 ) and Surma 
crnents on BLM's recommendations ft 
(deration for leasing or mining be: 



wildlife data and the wildlife unsuitabil ity criteria 
submitted in accordance with our Menorandun of Undcrstandina 
(MOU) on Coal, the national DUVfl.'S I'OU and coordination responsibilities under 
the Federal Coal Management Program (FCI'P). We will first address some general 
issues ancj follow with specific comments on the addendum. 



dl Conr.ents 



Your docunents indicate that 
Vest-Central MFP have undcrgoi 
criteria. Of this total, wc i 
are recommended for exclusion 
understand that BLM has decldi 
other deposits as unsuitable 
lands for delayed leasing con! 



excess of 170.000 acres of federal coal in the 
the application of wildlife unsut tahil ity 
derstand 480 acres In the Center-Stanton Deposit 
ron further consideration for leasing, lie also 
not to recormend high value wildlife lands In 
r teasing and mining, but has identified these 
deration beyond the 1983 lease sale. These 



We Lcl leve that a number of inconsistencies presently exist in the manner in 
which the coal unsuttabiltty process was applied do the North Dakota portion of 
the Fort Union Coal Rcaion. In particular, we are referring to the application 
of those unsultabillty'crlterla (No. 9. 11, 1?, 13. 14 and 15) that relate to 
wildlife. 

We believe that th-> erpllcatlon by the Dickinson District is not totally consistent 
wltil the BUi regulations in Subpart 3461 - Federal Lands Review - Unsuitabil Ity 
for Mining. Ue had an opportunity to be briefed on the wildlife unsuitabil Ity 
recommendations in Montana. Will this apparent discrepancy between the unsuitaMlHy 
application process by two BLM Districts In the Fort Union Coal Region cause 
problem in the preparation and analysis of alternatives In the Fort Union 
Regional Coal EIS7 



The addendum document states that "... exemptions and exceptions to proposed 
unsuitable determinations were made wherever mitigations are allowable, acceptable 
and feasible". It ts not dear how exemptions and exceptions can be applied 
when no areas were recommended as unsuitable. As we understand the unsuitabil ity 
assessment procedures fron a review of Section 3461.3 of BLtf's coal planning 
regulations, the sequence is as follows: Recommendation of lands as unsuitable, 
apply exemptions and exceptions (consultation with state and/or federal fish 
and game agency), public review, final OLM dectsion and petition to 0SH for 
fcmal designation of land as unsuitable. 

Exceptions are discussed In Section 3461 .3-l(a)(l) of BLM's coal regulations. 
This section states that "the authorized office shall state in the plan or 
analyses those areas which could be leased only subject to conditions or 
stipulations to conform to the application of the criteria or exceptions'. 
BLM's addendum on the West-Central docs not seem to specifically meet these 
requirements. Core Important though, the general public, state and federal 
agencies, and private Industry are not afforded the opportunity to review a 
complete package of information on specific areas within a coal deposit or 
proposed lease that are identlflr-d for exclusion or reclamation. We discussed 
this Issue in more detail in our October 20, 1SB1, memorandum (copy attached). 
Since BLM is currently In the activity planning stage 1n the West-Central, K 
surest this type of information be provided upfront to industry to assist in 
development of logical nine plans. 

Coordination requirements between BLM and the FWS or state game and fish agency 
arc discussed in Section 3461.3-2 of the regulations. The exception clause for 
wildlife unsultabtllty Criteria 9. 11. 13 and 14 require consultation with the 
n.'S. L'c consider our day-to-day coordination with BLM quite good, but believe 
coordination requirements for the exceptions process has not been fully met and 
should be addressed further before specific areas sub. ect to lease stipulations 
for reclamation are identified. 



dlands and native prairie destroyed by 
ning will be allowed upon demonstration 
nt.' We believe "demonstration" Is a 
a narrative reclamation plan, but also 
p demonstration sites. Some prairie 



The narrative states that "wetlands. 
mining will be restored or replaced. 
of satisfactory restoration or replac 
key word and should be based not only 
on practical field research and long- 
wetlands and native woodlands may have to be sacrificed in thi: 
BLM should strive to protect most of these valuable habitats until resource 
professionals can reach a concensus whether or not they can be adequately 
restored. We anticipate that a thorough discussion of reclamation potential of 
these habitat types will be presented in the Fort Union Regional Coal EIS. 

BLM acknowledges the existence of important wildlife habitats as evidenced by 
the descriptions on Renner's Cove and North Garrison Deposit. Rcnner's Cove Is 
characterized as a ". . . large undisturbed block of essential wildlife habitat, 
with some of the best native woodlands, riparian wetlands and native prairie 
left In North Dakota." North Garrison is described by: ". . . seven-mf lc-long 
complex of native prairie, woodlands, and riparian wetlands 1s some of the 
finest remaining in North Dakota." 8LM also states that coal in the Rcnner's 



Cove area ray never need to be mined . , . and that development potential of 
coal 1n North Garrison Is relatively low. and loss of the coal reserves for the 
Imedlate future Is Inconsequential. Since this Is the case, we believe it 
would be preferable to use the unsul tabl 1 Ity process rather then the delayed 
leasing concept. 

Section 3461.5(a) describes the process whereby petitions to desig nate or 
terminate a designation of federal lands shall be filed with the Office of 
Surface Mining, If lands are currently recommended as unsuitable and subsequently 
become designated as such. Industry has a pathway to petition for termination 
of this designation In the future If advanced reclamation technology, national 
energy needs, etc., warrant such a petition. The Public Service Commission's 
proposed ancndticnts to the state's coal regulations also provide for petitions 
for designation and termination of lands unsuitable. Section 69-05.2-04-03 of 
the North Dakota Administrative Cocc Article. Both the state end federal 
process would legally provide protection to significant wildlife resources at 
this tine while allowing industry the opportunity to file for a termination at 
a future date when they have fully demonstrated both a need for the coal and 
successful reclamation technology fer the habitats under question. This would 
appear to be a practical alternative that conforms to the guidelines and rcoulations 
of the FCI.P as well as meeting thr needs of private industry. 

Specific Conr.ents 

Dunn Center Deposit - The vast majority of this deposit does not contain high 
nual Ity habitat. No federal lands are recommended by DLM as unsuitable based 
on the wildlife criteria. Some protection will be afforded the riparian habitats 
along the Spring Creek corridor because of archaeological exclusions and tract 
boundary modifications, but some areas are sub -ect to application of exceptions 
at the mine plan stage. The major wetland complex In the southeast corner 
(T. 143 II., R. 92 t 93 W.) Is not afforded protection by the wildlife criteria, 
multiple-use trade-off"analyses, delayed leasing or other alternatives. Has 
this area been overlooked or will reclamation stipulations apply? 



Center- Stan ton Dc po 



Appro 



pa i 



els 



i 22, syiEfc; 
P. 04 W.. Section 30, Wj) an 
leasing based on criteria £. 11 
do not apply to these particula 

He concur with your recommendation to exclude Section 30 which Is typical 
Missouri River breaks habitat with interspersed woodlands, shrubs and prairie. 
Our coordination with Consol reveals that they do not plan to mine this half- 
section but may use portions for stockpiles which does not roquln 
lease for the coal. The BO-acre tracts In Sections 22 and ; 
agricultural lands. The exclusion of these two areas on th 
habitats appears to be inconsistent with other recommcndatl 



II. 12 and 13 



prcda 



Ren 



icr's Cove Deposit - The 
iks habitat "in the north 
ial Issue. Although no 



nner's Cove Deposit contain: 
> tier. Reclamation of thesi 
of these federal coal lands 



excel lent wooded 
breaks Is a contn 
ire recomended as 



2-51 



ability 



unsuitable, BU1 suggests that leasing In this particular area be delayed end 
that Industry delay mining of 400 acres of federal coal currently under lease 
until well into the future. To ensure adequate protection, we believe that an 
unsuitable recommendation would be preferable. 

On page 3 we noted how BLH can use the unsultabll ity process to address wildlife 
concerns without precluding additional industry Input at a later date. If that 
process were accepted, 400 acres of leased land would be impacted and Industry 
would have to be fairly cenpensated for the loss of this coal. As we suggested 
In our October 20, 1981, memorandum, the lease exchange process (Subpart 3435 
of BLH's regulations) would be applicable and nay provide an adequate solution. 

North Garrison Depo si t - The U.S. Government has a vested interest In the 
wetland habitats of this deposit through the FWS's wetland easement program. 
Me have wetland easements located in 23 sections of land within the Missouri 
Coteau in this coal deposit. The basic elements of wetland easements are 
prohibitions against draining, burning, filling and leveling of wetland < 
These easements are an integral part of the National Uildlife Refuge Sys' 
Those areas overlying federal coal have previously been excluded by unsu' 
criterion 1. No other federal coal lands will be excluded for the wildlife 
criteria, but some with Important wildlife habitats will be placed in a category 
for delayed leasing consideration. Our concerns previously discussed on this 
Issue In the "General Comments" section are applicable here. 

Conclusion 

Our role throughout this process has been to provide you with recommendations 
for protection of the most important wildlife habitats under the guidelines of 
the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act. 0SJ1 Coal Regulations. PSC Coal 
Regulations, and BLH's Coal Planning Regulations. We have also noted Inconsistent 
in your application of the wildlife unsui tabil I ty criteria, potential ramificatior 
and means of rectifying the situation. 

In summary, we believe that the BUI recommendations In the West-Central addendum, 
specifically the 4C0 acres of unsuitable lands In the Center-Stanton coal 
deposit, do not accurately reflect the status of Important wildlife habitat 1n 
the West-Central tIFP. This may be more of a reflection of the approach to the 
application process by the Dickinson District than due to actual differences of 
opinion on essential wildlife habitats. We favor the preliminary September 14, 
1S81. recommendations by BLH and believe they arc more appropriate in meeting 
the Intent of the unsultabll ity procedures. Granted, delayed leasing and tract 
boundary adjustments will afford short-term protection to these habitats through 
the June 1?83 lease sale at a minimum, but do not provide the magnitude of 
protection as could be attained through the regulatory process. If, however. 
BUI'S recommendations become final, we will continue to cooperatively work with 
BUI to ensure the protection of these selected wildlife areas and assist you in 
future applications of wildlife unsui tabil Ity criteria during the next round of 
leasing in the West-Central. 

We hope that our comments are accepted in a constructive manner and that they 
may be beneficial In dealing with some very difficult decisions In the F01P In 
Horth Dakota. We are hopeful that through this coordinated effort, we can 
assist you In teeplng impacts to wildlife habitats down to an acceptable minimum 



and simultaneously develop areas In the Fort Union Region for c 
you believe further discussions on any Issues may be worthwhile 
available to meet with you and your staff. 



MERLE 0. BENNETT 



ABSTRACT OP ")R. HASTINu.; "Ti^SENTATIOll AT AS INTENTIONAL SYMPOSIUM 
ON PATHOBIOLOCY OF 'SVVnoWriNTAL POLLUTANTS - ANIMAL MODELS AJfD 
W1LUIF5 AS MONITORS 

June 1-5, 1977 

University of Connecticut 

jtorrs, Connecticut 



Selenium deficiency 1g unexpected In Horth Dakota, a State 
generally regarded as having adequate amounts of selenium In the 
3oll and In livestock diets. A stillborn calf and weak calf pro- 
blem develoned in a herd of AOO beef cows wintered at a ranch on© 
mile from the thermoelectric olant and oil refinery. A second oc- 
curance at another ranch six miles from another thermoelectric com- 
plex had similar calf losser.. The dead calves displayed by gross 
and histopathology a skeletal myopathy. This mvopathy is associated 
with a metabolic deficiency of selenium, a trace element which is 
part of a body enzyme, glutathione peroxidase. Both ranches were 
in areas prone for forage fumigation by inversions. 

The dead calf and weak calf svndrome encountered at each ranch 
was reversed in 2-".-48 hour= through an injection of a selenium 
pharmaceutical and now prevented by the feeding of a good source 
of selenium, wheat or wheat bran, during the last 60 days of pregnancy. 

Lignite coal burning thermolectrlc nlants and oil refineries 
produce large quantities of sulfur dio:cide. The growing alfalfa 
plant is capable of responding to, and absorbing, sulfur dioxide 
through its leaf stomata resulting in a high level of sulfate in its 
forage. Prior research has determined that Ingested sulfate can 
influence the ruminants selenium levels. Analysis of the alfalfa 
sammles at these ranches found normal selenium levels but higher 
sulfate levels, comparable to levels fed In related research. 

Studies are continuing to find methods of preventing the pro- 
blem by monitoring forages or the dam's blood. Purther studies 
are being conducted to find better methods of diagnosing the mar- 
ginal, a- typical, selenium deficient calf. Also under Investigation 
are the roles of other Influences, ouch as stress and concurrent 
trace elements deficiencies or excesses. 



Donald H. Hastings, DVM 

Dakota Foundation for Animal Health 

Box 911, Bismarck, N. D. 58501 

Btudy partially funded by North Dakota Beef Commission 




September 23, 1982 
Bureau of Land Management 
Uox 30107 

Billings, Montana 59107 

The Circle Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture sup ort tie land 
exchange between BLM and Meridian Land Co. 

We feel that a larger tax base is needed, and also that more jobs 
would help the local economy. According to a survey taken some time 
ago, over E0X of the people in Mc Cone county sup ort development. 
That indicates a bi^ need for Jobs, tax base etc. When our young 
people get out of high school, some go on to college, and leave 
Montana bedause there aren't any good jobs available. The average 
age of the farmers in the United States, is over 55, 
that there Isn't enough jobs on the farm to sup Ort a 



family. 




Elmo i- ,R. Dreyerc/ 



st i residen 



2-52 



***** 

iVr -^ /— z. 



CIRCLE. MONTANA 5971E 



3u;ee. of Lanj : ana oment 

Box 3C157 

Billings, I ■ n". 7 

I suf oct the land exchange betwc D Jian Lane Co. 

ne county. 
Another lawsuit was filed in Masrin t 

• n t lains ^es'.jrce Council, .cwder River Dasin Rescurc* 
wit), the Sierra Club aid others, ayiinst the Irted'.T neit. They 
want tne cal lea^int; laws changed to their s ecif ications. If 
311 those orginizations hacJ their way, there wouldn't t>e me coal 
train leaving Montana or Wyoming. TLise ccal trains ^rinu 1. 
dollars to our state, thru rruch neeiei jobs and .30^ severance tax. 
He Con* County needs a r uch large tax base and a lot ~cre jobs* 
That would help the economy in Circle and ver i ~ entire o 
It wo. Id hel; bring much neeaed re] airs to our roads, etc. 
'..'e need the land exc. 




r, 



.1 ■ _ C^y . 




United States Department of the Interior 

BUREAU OF RECLAMATION 
Upper Mlaaoun Region 
\'z . PO Box 2S53 

\'\f- ngi M ■■ S9I03 * 



0C1 ' 1^ 



To: State Director, Bureau of Land Management. Billings. Montana 

From: (^Regional Director, Bureau of Reclamation. Billings, Montana 

Subject: Bureau of Land Management*! 
to the Fort Union Coal Reg 
Statement (DES 82-47) 




We have reviewed the subject document and havi 



^y^ 



215 



216 



217 



October S, 1982 

FORT UNION COAL REGION ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT DRAFT 

MY NAME IS DARRELL GAROUTTE. I AH * FARMER -RANCHER NEAR WELDON 
IN MCCONE COUNTY. 

THERE ARE SEVERAL AREAS OF CONCERN REGARDING THE FORT UNlJN 
DRAFT EIS AND PROPOSED COAL LEASE 5ALE IN 19 p 3. 

THE DRAFT EIS SEEKS TO BE VERY DEFICIENT IN KNOWN EFFECTS 
THAT SYNFUELS COAL GASIFICATION PLANTS -ILL HAVE ON 
AGRICULTURE. ACID RAIN, GROUND HATER POLLUTION AND POLLUTION 
FROM OTHER TOnC MATERIALS ARE NOT ADEQUATLY ANSWERED IN THE EIS. 

VERT LITTLE IS ANT ATTENTION HAS BEVN GIVEN TO COAL IMPACTS 
ON AGRICULTURE OUTSIDE OF THE COAL TRACT AREAS. THERE IS LITTLE 
DOUBT THESE IMPACTS WOULD BE SIGNIFICANT. THE SUMMARY STATEMENT 
IN THE EIS, THAT IMPACTS TO AGRICULTURE IN THE FORT UNION COAL 
REGION WOULD BE laNISOUIE, CANNOT 3E CONSIDERED VALID I.*J LIGHT 
OF ALL THE UNKSOWN ASSOCIATED WITH COAL IMPACTS ON AGRICULTURE . 

SOCIAL CONSEQUENCES ^F COAL DEVELOPMENT OUTLINED IN THE EIS ARE 
KIND B0G3LI.C AND MAY SnLL 9E UNDERESTIMATED. THE BLM SHOULD 
HAVE DONE A 3ETTER JOB OF BRTtCING THE ISFOBHATI3N BEFORE THE 
PUBLIC IN IMPACT AREAS. Z SI CERELY DOUBT IF THE GENERAL 



^<4 



217[ 



POPULASE IN THESE AREAS KAVr>HAT'S IN STORE FOR THEM IF CCAL 



218 



DEVELOPMENT BEC0HE& A. KEAdTX' 

ALL THESE AREAS OF CONCERN NEFD TO 3F. ANSWERED AND BhOUG.-n 1 3EF0RE 
THE PUBUC FOR COMMENT BEFORE ANY COAL LEASE SALE IS CONSIDERED. 
THERE ALSO APPEARS TO BE LITTLE NEED FOR A C3AL LEASE SAI3 IN 
19*3. LACK OF COMPETITION BIDDING AND LOW PRICES IN THE POWDER 
RIVER COAL LEASE SALE POINT TO THIS FACT. ANY LEASE SALE AT 
THIS TIME WOULD ONLT SERVE COAL SPECULATION AND OT THE FU3LIC 
INTEREST. /-\ 



G*AUJl_uj Q<i 



Jtz. 



2-53 



[?^C&5fo3 



October 7, 1982 



The Nokota Company has i 
ronmental Impact Statem 
Air Quality Information 
the comments of The Noko 



iviewed the July, 1982, Draft Envi- 
nt (DEIS) and the September, 1982 
Supplement . This letter contains 
a Company on those documents. 



219 



efore proceeding 


wit 




he comi 


nents, 


however 


we 


would 


like 


o advise the Reg 




. Coal Team tha 


: we support 


its choice 


f Alternative 3 




th 


e pref 




alternat 






irily 






Du 


nn Center tract. As 








he Nokota Company ha: 


P 




build 


and operate 


a coal-to 


ethanol plant wi 


bin 


the Dunn 


Center 


tract. 








ur comments are i 


s fc 


Hows: 












. The DEIS stat 


es 


at 


page 


unde 


E "CultU 


ral 


Peatu 


es," 


that a port 




of 


the 


Knife 


River 


Pi in 




including a part 


oj 


the 


)unn Center t 






been 


declared elig 


ble 


to 


r the 


Nation 


1 Regist 




f Historic 


Places and 


is 


"p 


roposec 


as 


a Nati 


onal 


Reg 


Ster 


District. " 


















Comment: In 


the 


op 


nion c 


f the 


Keeper c 


f th 


e Nat 


onal 



the 



The legal status 
antly and subs tan t 
which has merely 



ces , based on an office r 
by the BLH, a portion ol 

ible for the National Register, 
can be created , however , the 
of land- 



of 



appr 



ed Dis 



lly different thar 


that of 


een determined to 


be "eli- 


National Register 


To the 



Th* Nokota Company / I 



219 



220 



Mr. Lloyd Emmons 




















October 7, 1982 




















Page 2 




















formally proposed 


to 


the Kee 


aer of 


the Natio 


lal 


Reg 


ster 


and there is r 




nd 




that 


he 










would be rece 


ived. 


There 


: ore 


the 


refere 


nee 


to 


the 


"proposed" sta 




of 


the Kni 


e Riv 




3uarry 








and misleading 


and should be 


deleted. 










2. On page 7 of the 


DEIS, unde 


r "Cu 


ltu 


ral Res 


)U« 


es. 


the 



statement is made that 
of *_wo sections of the 1 
will be determined whei 
leaving open the possib 
its announced plan t 
determination under Crit 



the mining plan 
lity that the BLM 
3 hold open the 



the Addendu 



Comment : In its comments c 
Central North Dakota Ma nag 
April 14, 1982, Nokota noted that the 
authority to declare an area unsui 
merely on the basis of a deter 
eligibility for listing in the Nati< 
requested the BLM to delete that portic 
which provided for a condition; 
determination and to restore these sec 
considered suitable for leasing. 



suitability 
mitigation 
developed. 



West- 
filed 
legal 



al Register and 

of the Addendum 

unsuitability 

Lons to the area 



In 



1982 "Dec 
unde 



spondvng to thi 



Doc 



by 



Management 
the West-Central North Dakota 
Under these circumstances, 
inaccurate for the DEIS 
reference to the pendency 
Headquarters, BLM, that the 
will be deferred to mine plan 
respectfully requests that th: 



Nokota 
archae 

eligib 

Nokota 



r of 


he 


Bureau 


of Land 


lot bee 




ncorpora 


:ed into 


Managemen 


t Framewc 


rk Plan. 






nappropri 


ate and 


:o aga 




state. 


without 


of th 


s 


question 


within 


suitab 


Li 


ty determination 


time. 


Accordingly 


, Nokota 


s stat« 




nt be eli 


minated. 




lat 


e mitigation of 


the 




n Center 


Tract, 


nin tl 


e 


area cc 


nsidered 


Natior 


al 


Register 


or not . 


rface n 


in 


ing permi 


t appli- 



opposed 



r this purpose. Nokota believes that 

y be coordinated with mine development 

provide sufficient research infor- 

prehistory of the area to meet the 



Mr. Lloyd Emmons 
October 7, 1962 
Page 3 



220 
221 

222 



223 



ements of the public int 
ological research withou 
or preventing orderly min 



ala will only be allowed 






: and the 
eluding ar 
'elopment. 



th Dakota state 
the disposal of 
isposal of waste 
nner designed to 



tfa 



the 



'rship map of the Dunn Center 
■ars on page 24 of the DEIS, shows feder 
of less than 100% in the Southeast qua 
., Township 144 North, Range 94 West, 
tarked in gold on the map. 

The map is incor 



Comment : The map is incorrect. There is no federal 
ownership of coal in the Southeast quarter. All coal in 
the Southeast quarter is privately owned. This fact is 
confirmed by a July 1, 1976 letter from Roland P. Lee, 
Chief, Branch of Lands and Minerals Operations, Bureau 
of Land Management, Billings, Montana. A copy of this 
letter is attached for your information. You will note 
that on July 1, 1976, Mr. Lee stated that the BLM 
records would be corrected to reflect the absence of 
federal coal ownership in the Southeast quarter of 
Section 11. We trust that you will now ensure that your 
records are indeed corrected. 



On page 65 


of t 


he DEIS 


unde 


r "Water 


lality 


" reference 


is made to 


the 


"Spr 


ing 


Creek 


alluvial 


valley 


floor." On 


page 85, 










entitled 


■Water 


Use," the 


statement 






Spri 


ng Creek i 


n the 


Dunn Center 


tract is a str 


■am 


that has 


a good potentia 


L for being 


designated 




llu 


/ial v 


alley floe 


r. On page 105, 










tied 


"Problems, 


" the 


area around 


Spring Cre 
floor. 


ek is 


ag 




refer 


ed to as an alii 


vial valley 


Comment : 


The 


itat 


>me 


ts wi 


thin the DEIS re 


fer, in two 


places, to 


the 


Spi 


inq 


Creek 


area as s 


n allu 


vial valley 


floor, ant 






pla 




the Spring Creek 




the 


" pa 1 




al" 






ated as an 


alluvial v 


alley 


tla 




On the basis o 


: our 


esearch and 


analysis 


conce 


rning the Spr 


ing Creek 


area and the Dunn 







Mr. Lloyd Emmons 


October 7, 1962 


Page 4 




Center tract, we believe that the Spring Creek area is 




not an alluvial valley floor, nor does it have the 




potential for such designation under either the federal 




Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 197 7 or 




the North Dakota law on the same subject contained in 




North Dakota Century Code Chapter 38-14.1. We would 


00*5 


also like to point out that the final decision on 


c*£t3 


whether the Spring Creek area is or is not an alluvial 




valley floor as defined in state and federal law and 




regulations will be made by the North Dakota Pulic 




Service Commission and will not be made until such time 




as an application for a surface mining permit is 




submitted to that agency. Consequently, it is 




premature , in the DEIS, to refer to the Spring Creek 




area as an alluvial valley floor. 




6. On page 65 of the DEIS, under the section entitled 




"Cultural," the BLM suggests that the principle of 




mitigation through data recovery has been accepted, 




subject to "special tract stipulations." On page 128 


'"*'"* A 


under "Cultural Features" for Alternative 2, the DEIS 


A.Z.*l 


refers to the possibility of Memoranda of Understanding 


MM~ 


as a management device for site mitigation. 




Comment : Nokota agrees that a Memorandum of Understand- 




ing with the BLM would be useful in managing a cultural 




resource mitigation program. 




7. On pages 85, 69, 105 and 106 of the DEIS, reference is 




made to irrigation activities within the Dunn Center 




tract . On page 89 , reference is made to hay production 




amounts on irrigated hay lands on the Dunn Center tract. 




On this page it is further stated that 311 tract acres 




of crop land are under irrigation in the Dunn Center 




tract. 




Comment: We dispute this conclusion concerning the use 


*™V <r~\ •■• 


of irrigation in the Dunn Center tract. To the best of 


yyR 


our knowledge there is no irrigated hay land or crop 


b4dttJ 


land anywhere in the Dunn Center tract. It is our 




understanding that in the past 20 years the North Dakota 




State water Commission has issued five or six condition- 




al water permits for irrigation in this area. All but 




one of these conditional water permits were never per- 




fected. The remaining conditional water permit was used 




for a short term for irrigation purposes, but has long 




since been abandoned. Consequently, it appears that the 




DEIS has extrapolated the granting of conditional water 



2-54 



225 



226 



Mr. Lloyd 
October 7 
Page 5 


Emmons 
1982 
















pe 
pu 


rposes in 
f land pr 
iter tract 


the Dunn 
The 


Cente 

from 


nose perm 
tract, i 
rrigated 
elusions 


ts fo 
nclud 
land 
in th 


ng 
Ln 


rriga 

the 
DEIS 


■i j- 
■ mo 


8. On 


page 10S of the DEIS, under the secti 
ldustrial Wastes," reference is made t 
ch will be produced by gasification plan 


r 


which 


-led 
als 



Cotrmieri 



ir, 



»l-t 



ol proje 



,s the Nokota 

presently classified as hazardous by EPA. Solid wastes 
wi 11 be generated by tne plant and will be disposed of 
in accordance with the requirements of the North Dakota 
State Department of Health, however, none of these 





|_ wastes are hazardous wastes. 


227 


9. On page 124 of tne DEIS, in the description of wildlife 
under Alternative 1, a statement is made that mitigation 
for and in some cases improvement in wildlife habitat 
would be possible by leaving portions of high walls in 
strategic places to create cliffs and nesting habitat. 

Comment: The BLM should note that both federal and 




state surface mining and reclamation laws currently 
require high walls to be eliminated as a part of tne 
environmental protection performance standards for 


228 


10. On page 124 of the DEIS, under the section on wildlife 
for Alternative 1, the statement is made that the State 
of North Dakota will not allow surface mining of 
significant wooded areas until mining companies can 
demonstrate that woody draws can be reclaimed. This 
statement is inconsistent with tnat appearing in the 
Summary on page 127 in which it is concluded that 
habitat destruction of woody draws would occur from 
mining. 


229 


11. On page S-9 of the air quality supplement, in Table 2-3, 
the federal and state PSD increments are shown. The 
table is incorrect in that the Class II North Dakota 
increments for particulates are now the same as the 






230 



Lloyd Emmons 
7, 1982 
Page 6 



12. As a general comment insofar as the air quality supple- 
ment is concerned, it is our view that the BLM has not 
properly emphasized the fact that the air quality im- 
pacts described are based on worst-case scenarios, none 
of which are likely to occur . without proper emphasis 
on this fact, the public is likely to be seriously 
misled concerning the potential air quality impacts. 

We appreciate tnis opportunity to comment on the Fort Union 
Coal Region Draft EIS. IE you desire any further informa- 
tion concerning the Dunn- Nokota Methanol Project , please 



Sincerely, 




THE NOKOTA 


COMPANY. 


/ 




G. E. Andei 


sen 


President 




GEA/Lcw 




Enclosure: 


July 1 




United States Department of the Interior 

BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT 

316 North ?6th Street 

P.O. Box 301S7 

BilUngs, Montana 59107 



Mr. A. M. Weiss 

Director Coal Development 

Natural Cas Pipeline Company of America 

122 South Michigan Avenue 

Chicago, Illinois 60603 

Dear Mr. Weiss: 

In your letter of February 26, you quesl 
records Indicate that the United States 
Interest ln the following-described lane 



Dunn County, North Dakota 
: obtained an Abstract and an i 



Field Sollcl- 



Unlted States. 



thank you for calling this 



Roland F. Lee ^"-- 






" ' - ■ ISffi'JfcM 

■ ■ | 
3SCHWTND£N M( 



Ststr ill 3Han»a..a 

(Dffiri .1 1l|V Q&ourruor 
Mltaia, JHo.itm.n 5>JE,2u 



October 8. 1982 




Mr. Mike Penfold, Director 
Bureau of Land Management 
P.O. Box 30157 
Billings, Montana 59107 

Dear Mike: 

This letter conveys the State of Montana's comments on the Fort 
Union Coal Region Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) prepared 
by the Bureau of Land Management. They were compiled from comments 
submitted by various state agencies following their review of the DEIS 
Montana's previous comments submitted in 1981 regarding the site specific 
analyses (SSA's) still apply, although in some instances, changes or 
improvements were made which corrected problem areas. 

i am submitting, in their entirety, the comments received from the 
Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks. The comments are 
detailed, and reflect issues and concerns with the applications of 
unsuitability criteria to the Fort Union process. Additional comments 
regarding the Air Quality Supplement are being prepared by the Montana 
Department Of Health and Environmental Sciences, Air Quality Bureau, and 
will be submitted prior to the October 19 comment deadline. 

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the fort Union DEIS. 
Your staff and others involved in the preparation of the document are to 
be commended for conscientiously carrying out an extremely complex and 
sensi tive process. 

Sincerely, 



Governor Olson 



TED SCHWiNDEN 



2-55 



231 



IPES-AKTMEVT OF ^fe%' 

JFHSIHI, ^yHJUIDILIIIFiE AOT> IPAKKS 



Department of State Lands 
Helena, HT 59620 

Dear Ralph: 

The follow 



I S82 



The Fort Union Coal Region draft environmental impa 

Federal Coal Management Program (<0 CRF 3^00). The 
corporated into the lease process to ensure comphai 
meet energy production goals through 19&7 while can 
(Redwater MFP, 0-1). Criterion 15 also supplied oni 
into federal coal leasing open to state governments 
nt wildlife species. Problems arose, howe< 



ent (DEIS) h 


as res 


I te 


No. 15 conta 


ined [ 


th 


ility Criter 


ia wer 


in 


the stated t 


arget. 


"EO 


otect.ng the 


envir 





The Fort Un 



al le. 



ale 



of 



The fii 



: first to be conducted under the new 
mess was the production of a comprehen- 
sive land use plan. Tkis was accomplished with the release and acceptance of the 

Redwater Management Framework Plan (MFP) (1979) covering the Montana portion of the 
Fort Union coal area.-_-Thi s document, contained one of the first applications of the 

meetings w.th Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife C "Parks [MQFWP) reg-ions 6 and 7 
personnel (Redwater MFP-, C-k) . This resulted in 3210 acres of the - 2.3S-.599 "acres of 
federal coal under study being declared unsuitable for mining. .Included were a one- 
wintering areas totaling 688 acres, and one white-tailed deer/pheasant wintering are 
covering 6 30 acres. The lack of an adequate wildlife data base for the meaningful 
application of criterion IS to the Circle Known Recoverable Coal Lease Area (KRCftA) 
was commented on by MDFUP region 6 personnel. In response, the SLM gave assurances 
that data could be incorporated and unsui tabi 1 i ty applied a 
of mine plan submission (Public hearing, Redwater MFP, Ana) 
comments, I9G0), " 






The Reagan 
The Departf 






of 



oal leasing program i i. 
the unsuitabi lity criteria in particular shortly after assuming offii 
ent of Interior's Office of Policy Analysis contended, "that Crlterioi 
tection of high state interest wildlife should be deleted." It goes 1 
the criterion has been viewed instead by the field as giving license 
and game departments to veto potential coal lands. Also, according t< 



(jtli, 



of . 



231 



The Montana 6LM office also recommended abolishing 1 
percolating from the top, has probably influenced fi 
criteria. The complaint of encumbering the Fort Uni 
since only a perfunctory application had been admini 

Ongoing data collections confirmed the existence of 
range that overlapped a proposed coal lease tract. 
to the 8LH and the Regional Coal Team (RCT). in a n 

Analyses (SSA) . However, the Circle West SSA's stai 
resultant populations are the most important wildlil 
area shown on map .3 is used year-round and contains 
kidding areas. The pronghorn that winter and are r< 
significant portion of the animals for a large area, 
of hunting provided by the herd is unknown, but it i 
rg, personal communications)." Although th 1 



important pronghorn antelope 
is information was relayed 
ting with the Bin, our field 

data in the Site Specific 



of 1 



able t< 
e' SSA'- 



I unsuitabi lity cnte 

ii 1 ity crrte'ria" ft 3 CFR 3I16I) w, 
findings of unsurtabi 1 i ty are 
hrough 15 and"! J involving fisl 
teria Cs"l c) will be applied P r 



.(a) "The 



regi. 



tinued the.r-ecogni t ion of th i 
ract contains some, of the mos 
".The "destruction of this hal 
rd by- des'troy ing their winter 



Che area, identified as- fftrr 
range in the Circle West" ar 
criterion 15 was not 'for the 



considered Q<\ this site-speci 
ted jn this report," and (c) 
wi'ldlife are pending further 
the final EI5 as the data be 



al area when it stated, "tl 

ant wildl i fe habi tat in Chi 
uld severely impact the h'n 
nd year- round habi tat" (p . 

abitat." Although the anti 



1 DEIS ! 
lieal i 



the 1 



I o| , 5 



suitability criterion 1 
f strip mining federal 

t3y\le for mi ri ing rhUS 

intcr'range'was not aff 
nowiedged by the 8LM. 

range (p. d8). The sti 



ibed I 



preferred al tcrnat ive .(number 3) ■ Apparent ly ,. the SIM re legated- the decision t. 
state's mine permitting process. As a result, s tate wi Idl i fe managers wer& lef 
with indecision rather^than precedents or guidelines to follow in the ap|>licati. 







Mr- Ralph Oriear 3 5/30/82 




Another species which received special attention when criterion 15 was first applied 




to Che KRCRA's was the sharp-tailed grouse. A one-half mile radius around nine male 








the integrity of these grounds." A total of 1892 acres of federal coat was excluded. 




Since all leks located over federal coal were not declared unsuitable, the basis for 




guidelines was established. Three leks in the Vibaux-Beach KRCRA were considered 




expendable based on, "the relative number of males in attendance on all leks in the 




area and the distance to other leks which were declared unsuitable or located outside 




the coal area" (Redwater MFP, p. <<8). Stipulations covering reclamation and revegeta- 




tion to native plants and the size of operation relative to the area-wide grouse 




populations were to be applied if coal development occurred. 




In the Circle West area 3, dancing grounds were Identified in the Redwater MFP and 




portions of the one-half mile radius overlying federal coal were removed from the 




lease process. The Circle West III SSA noted one lek had been located on the tract 




but the lack of activity in 1979 led to the conclusion it was abandoned (Circle West 




III SSA, p. 11). 




In 1962, an intensive spring survey was conducted in the Circle West area north of 




Nelson Creek. Five previously located grounds were checked and six new'ones were 




located. In addition, one ground was found in I98I and was not checked in 1982. 




These data were relayed to the DLM and they were acknowledged in the DEIS. "Eleven 




known sharp-tailed grouse dancing grounds. ..in and around the Circle Ml tract make 


D^l 


litis a very important and sensitive wildlife area" (p. 126). Of special importance 


CtDv 


was one ground located over federal coal in the center of the Circle III tract. In 




addition, the., lek previously listed as abandoned was active in 1982. Neither of 




these grounds received. the protection previously granted their neighbors. Instead, 




they were shielded by .unspeci f ied special stipulations that apparently defer a 




decision to the state's mine permitting process 




The application of criterion 15 to sharp-tailed grouse leks provided the first sug- 




gestion of guidelines used by the DLH decision makers.' 'Apparently, leks located 




outside or along the bouodary-of delineated coal tracts had all underlying federal 




coal declared unsuitable for mining. However, those located within a tract, where 




an unsui tabi 1 ity decision could impact the exploitation of the tract, were Included 




mi the lease sale Hi tfi. Stipulations. The stipulations lifted the burden of decision 




making from the BLM's shoulders . State wildlife managers, therefore, apparently 




must limit the application of criterion l"5 to those leks which do not interfere with 




the designation of _a" logical mming unit.. 




The Bloomfield tract was subjected to a four-season wildlife inventory by Matthews 




of the BLH. He identified the Sheep Mountain Divide along the wes tcrn"edge"of the 




tract as "crucial mule deer habitat." The area was labeled as "essential mule deer 




winter range" on map 3 of the Bloomfield SSA. It was also delineated as having the 




potential to be declared unsui table based on existing information. The_tract map 




on page 11 of the. DEI S" indicated this declaration did not occur. Although the 




Bloomfield tract was included in the RCT's preferred alternative, no mention was 







231 



with the rough topography 1 
(DEIS p. 126). Apparently 
rjngpjs as qualifying for ui 



The prima 


ry wildlife 


data 


.r.' 


for two of the tracts was 


collected by 


private co 


sul tant f i rms under 


contra 


t to 


energy companies. In the 


case of 


the 


Burns Cree 


tract. Mo 


bil Oil Cor 


por.it 1 


n ha 


not, and apparent ly wi 1 1 


not, re 


ease 


Its inforr 


tion to the 6LM. Si 


nee pr 


vate 


landowners will not allow 




BLM Liiologis 


the unsu 


tabi lity cr 


teria 


cann 


)t be applied to this trac 


t. Ther 


fore 


, this 


tract car 


not be offered fo 


lea 


e. The RCT, however, i nc 


u.-lcd I/Hi 


ns 1 


reek in it 


preferred 


al ternati v 


es. 1 


form 


tlon on Che Redwater trac 


ts, coll 


ctec 


for WESCO 


Resources 


, Inc. was 


not a 


ailable for inclusion in the SSA's (Re 


watt 


r SSA 1 p. 


Whether 1 


nsuitabilit 


y ... i- 1 1 


r ia 


ere applied to these trac 


ts and, 


f sc 


, what dat 








ained in the DEIS. The discus 






ternative 


mentioned 


Redwater 1 


and 1 


tra 


ts contained valuable wi 1 


J life ha 


ita 


(DEIS p. 


In addit 


on. Redwate 






luded in the tracts cover 


:d by st 


pule 




sharp-ta 


led grouse 


and.cr 


tica 


antelope range (DEIS p. 


48). Th 


use 


of data 


collected 


for energy 


compar 


ies 


ntent on leasing federal 


:oal for 


app 


ication of 


unsu, tab. 


lity criter 


on 15 


shou 


d be closely monitored by 


the sta 


c - 




The Fort 


Union coal 


ease s 


ale. 


one of the first to be co 


iducted under 


the new 


federal c 


■ 1 1 man a gem 


jnt pro 


gram 


has so far failed to pro 


side a basis 


for determ 


the impac 


ts on coal 


development 


of implement i ng the unsui 


abi 1 ity 


prov 


isions four 




This v 


as ur 


fortunate in light of the 


high le 


el P 


rocedural 


attacks a 


imed at the 


e pro* 


isior 


s. Had they: been accural 


ly and prope 


rly appl lee 




ts could ha 






uated and changes propose 






the process 


Unfortuna 


tely, tins 


)pporcu 


rnty 


has been lost. 








Unsui tabi 


lity criter 


on 15 


was 


ntended to protect resident wild! 


fe s 


pecies thrc 


the coope 


rative efforts of 


the s 


urface management agency 


nd the 


tate 


However 


the rcsul 


1 was often 










cati 




and feder 




(i.e. 




espondence from North Dak 






•ish f)epar 


to BLH da 


ted June 2') 


198l! 


. The Fort Union coal leasing 


process 


whic 


h culminate 




lease of the DEIS 


indie 






b we 


re applied 






esigned to 


meet the needs of the coa 






t rather tl 


the needs 


of. the res" 


dent w 


i ldl 


fe species. 








As you ca 


n see. the 


dent i f 


icat 


on and appl ication of cri 


erion 15 


des 


ignations 


being ser 


ously comp 


omised 




ere conscientiously appl 1 


d in the 


pas 


t, we have 


through n 


egociation 


eve loped me 


aningful wildlife protect 


on prog 


ams 


and still 


mo 1 1 


ed coat le 


sing. 


We f 


eel it is imperative that 


cri tica 


wl 1 


dlife areas 




J and some' protect 




fforded to resident wildl 


fe. We 






objection 


to the way 


identi 


Ficat 


ion and deisgnation of cr 


tical w 


Jdh 


fe habitat 


being compromised in 


the cu 


rrent 


planning and leasing pro 


ess. 







2-56 



231 



the past we have developed a very positive program for protecting wildlife while 
eloping our coal reserves. The foundation for that program has been an objectiv 
ntlflcatlon and classification of critical wildlife habitat. This process can 
linuc, but it will surely falter if we abandon strict objectivity when destiny 



^ZZ^Qr^ 



Uick Johnson 
Harold We.it land 
Arnold Dood 



232 



233 



STATE OF MONTANA 

COMMENTS 

FORT UNION COAL REGION 

DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT 

OCTOBER 8, 1982 



The state of Montana has been an active partner in the evaluation 
of the future coal leasing potential of the Fort Union coal region 
through participation on the Fort Union Regional Coal Team during the 
past 2<j years. One of the more ambitious and complex phases of the 
evaluation has included the facility and end use analyses for each of 
the proposed lease tracts. The DEIS contains appropriate caveats 
stating that comprehensive reviews of individual facilities will be dont 
in accordance with all applicable state and federal laws whenever each 
;d. However, the level of leasing that wouli 
)1 Coal Team's preferred alternative or any 



re chosen is not substantii 
inge facility development 
Facility Siting Art No 
and Bloomfield tracts havf 
ts in 1983 would be well ii 



of the alternatives with higher tonnages . 
by the demand for coal indicated in long 
plans received by Montana under its Major 
facilities associated with the Bums Cree 
been identified. So leasing of these tra< 
advance of any apparent coal demand. 

The DEIS generally underestimates the magnitude of the effect the 
more ambitious leasing alternatives would have on the natural and 
cultural environment. Full development of the coal tracts in all options 
except 1 and 2, would substantially change the character of eastern 
Montana. The magnitude of the potential change which would result from 
Alternative 6 would likely be far greater than any change which has 
occurred in this century. 

The DEIS does not fully discuss the implications of the Meridian 
Exchange, especially in conjunction with a new alternative which would 
provide for an exchange in the Redwater tract as well as the Circle 
tract. This alternative apparently is being considered as part of the 
Miles City 8LM District Office's Environmental Assessment of the Meridian 
Exchange and would involve consolidation of about 700 million tons of 
Meridian coal in the Circle tract and 700 million tons of federal coal 
in the Redwater tract. This may enhance the development opportunities 
of both federal and private coal. The Environmental Assessment should 
adequately consider the full range of potential consequences to the 
resources of Montana resulting from such an exchange. Montana may be 
submitting additional detailed comments regarding the exchange following 
a review of the forthcoming Environmental Assessment. 



234 



235 



236 

237 
238 



able 



of 13.6 f 



illi 



The DEIS points Out that ' 
exists on Fort Peck Reservoir. That amount may not, in fact, be avanaoie. 
The Fort Peck Indian Tribes are presently negotiating their reserved 
right. The State of Montana has 300,000 acre-feet to sell and the Corps 
of Engineers views the reservoir and its water as part of an integrated 
system, which may or may not have water available depending on downstream 
needs. This situation should be specifically addressed in the ILIS. 

Montana's previous comments questioned the use of the term "economic 
stability" to describe the effect of coal development on the local 
economy. Changes to reflect this comment appear to have been made in 
the DEIS, but some additional points still need to be made. When several 
developing major energy-related projects were recently cancelled in 
neighboring states, homeowners and the local communities were left with 
significant socioeconomic costs. Given the uncertainty of demand, the 
high capital costs, and the environmental uncertainties associated with 
synfuels, this possible scenario should be mentioned in the FE1S and an 
estimate made of the socioeconomic costs if a project fails. The HPPSS 
project in the Pacific Northwest has shown that when a ut i 1 i ty project 
fails, there is also a cost borne by the ratepayers, in addition to the 
costs borne by the local comnunities and individuals who planned for 
growth. 

The Figures 3-3 to 3-15 showing "fiscal balance" for affecjted 
Montana towns indicate a continuing deficit' development will "cost more 
than it returns. in revenues. The possibility for the coal impact fund 
to provide assistance is mentioned, but no analysis is made about the 
sufficiency of this fund to cover deficits. In any case, it is a 
situation that deserves specific explanation, as it portrays a negative 
economic consequence of development which will be borne by local communi- 
ties as a result of a federal leasing decision. In contrast, all of the 
figures for North Dakota communities show an eventual fiscal surplus. 

Higher operation anu maintenance costs to water users who may have 
to dig deeper. .wells is mentioned. The DEIS states that in a case where 
a landowner believes his/her water has been affected by mining, he/she 
can recover damages. However, experience at Colstrip has shown that the 
causes of water Jeyel changes are very hard to identify. As a result, 
there may be a' significant nuisance factor and cost to a landowner. 
attempting to prove an adverse effect on hjs/hei* water resources, which 
may not be "recoverable. 

r The DEIS- 'states" that the agricultural support economy would not be 
affected. _rf,ah'y of the alternatives are chosen which involves more 
industrial acViyit'y.than Alternative. .2. "the. economy of eastern Montana 
may undergo such major shifts that it seems improbable that the agri- 
" economy would remain unaffected. 



al supTJCi 

- un page'.UO is a discu 
bee'n ongoing in Montana ove 
intent on that page was to 
However, it is North Dakota 



sion of energy corridor planning which has 

the past two and one half years. The 
eference the Montana Major Facility Act. 
s siting act that is referenced. 



239 



240 



Appendix I of the DEIS contains a fairly detailed discussion of how 
the North Dakota siting process is used to mitigate socioeconomic impacts 
of major facilities and to encourage consultation and coordination among 
various affected parties, including local government officials. No 
discussion of the Montana Major Facility Siting Act (MFSA) is provided, 
although the MFSA serves much the same function. Attached is a copy of 
a brief discussion of this topic which was a part of a Department of 
Natural Resources and Conservation staff presentation at a recent 
conference. This should aid in preparing text for the FEIS to include 
the MFSA. 

The Department of Commerce has assumed many of the functions of the 
(defunct) Department of Community Affairs. The Department is presently 
providing impact mitigation assistance to coal impacted and potential 
coal impacted communities. This local government assistance is provided 
by one full-time land use planner and by one part-time program coordinator 
"On-site" technical assistance is provided in impact mitigation, local 
planning, development controls {development permit systems, subdivision 
review, etc.). land-use law, and other relevant matters. Under this 
program, assistance is also provided to Montana Coal Board grant appli- 
cants and grantees. In addition, the program participants act as liaison 
between local government, state government, federal government and 
industry. 

One Montana statute which could provide impact assistance to local 
governments and which was not mentioned in the DEIS is known as Tax Pre- 
payment for New Industrial facilities (15-16-201, MCA). 6y applying 
this law, a local government could require the owners of a new industrial 
facility {e.g. coal gasification plant, coal-fired electrical generation 
plant) to prepay the property taxes on the plant, thus providing "up- 
front" revenues which could be used to provide for the needed increase 
in local governmental services. Only the governmental taxing jurisdic- 
tion in which the industrial facility is to be located could require 
prepayment (e.g. county government). This statute does not apply to 
those jurisdictions which would be affected but would noi 
located w-t-tiiin their-borders (e.g. city government, adjai 
government). 

The-Farmer Home 6Dl.Program is essentially terminated. It woulo oe 
appropriate for the FEIS to delete any reference to the program. However, 
if the summary of the 601 program is retained, one significant correction 
should .be made. Da p*qe A-27 the last full sentence s_hould be changed 
to : read, a_s : /oj.lo^s: 

The -FmHA-601 Program provides grants to designated, 
approved coal impacted areas for planning and for 
site acquisition and development for public facilities 
,and services and publically owned housing sites. 

Jhe 601 program funds only planning and site acquisition and development; 
it does not funtf the construction of public facilities or the operation 
of public services, as is implied by the sentence currently appearing on 
page A-29. 



have the plant 



2-57 



241 



242 



243 



244 



The EIS (Appendices A 1 B) does noi 
of agency responsibilities towards the < 
in project planning. These responsible 
should be outlined in the first portion 
include a description and evaluation of 
resources. While recognizing a relativi 
the discussion of these property 



fully demonstrate an awarenes: 
o..s. deration of cultural resoui 
ties and the steps of compliant 
of the EIS. Chapter 2 should 
relevant surveys for cultural 

lack of inventory for historii 
Specifically, 



;hould include the qualities that make sites such as homesteads 
and mines eligible for listing in the National Register, their associative 
values, architectural values, informative values, and what constitutes 
integrity in the various kinds of historic properties. The discussion 
of rock art and historic sites generally does not include information on 
possible associative and architectural values. Such information is 
needed along with an analysis of possible and appropriate mitigation. 

The DEIS lacks discussion of the effects of changes in water quality 
and quantity on aquatic ecosystems. The discussion of water impacts in 
the DEIS centers on the effects on wells, groundwater, and municipal 
water supplies, almost no mention is made of effects of altered streamflows 
and water quality on aquatic macroinvertebrates, fish, and other fauna. 
Acid rain effects are briefly mentioned (p. 125), but other sources of 
water pollution are inadequately covered. Many of the tributaries to 
Fort Peck Reservoir and the Redwater River provide important spawning 
habitat for sauger and/or walleye. Reduction in in-stream flows in 
these tributaries as well as Beaver Creek near Wibaux and the Yellowstone 
River below Intake could have significant effects on the fishery. 

The legend identifying surface ownership for the Redwater Tract n 
on page 19 of the DEIS has transposed ownership for state and privately 
owned surface. This can be corrected by indicating state ownership in 
blue as has been done with the other tract ownership maps. 

while, other tract maps indicate those areas of state coal that are 
presently leased, the Woodson Preference Right Lease Application (PRLA) 
map on page 35 of the DEIS does not. The map should identify the existing 
state coal .lease- on section 16, Township 20 North. Range 56 East of the 
PRLA. 

The discussion regarding the purpose or relevance of the Montana 
Environmental Policy Act contained in Appendix B of the DEIS should 
include reference to the requirement for impact.statements for major 
state-actions which have the potential to significantly effect the human 
environment, "as : is included in the discussion._for (he National Environ- 
mental .Policy Action on page A-2. 

The references to"" legislation found in Appendix B for the Montana 
Department oFState Lands do not reflect the'i979 recodification of 
state legis.fat.ion. '-The corrections for the FEIS.are as follows: 

1. Replace State Antiquities Act, Chapter 25 of Title 81. R.C.M. 
1947 with State-Antiquities Act, Section 22-3-401 et seq: . 
MCA. 

2. Repfa'ce Section 81-103, R.C.M. 1947 with Section -?2-3-424; 
MCA. ' 






244 
245 

246 

247 
248 



Replace Section 81-501, it CM. 1947 with Section 77-3-102, 

horizes the Board to 
res, roads, etc. on 

,jith energy development. 



Add Section 77-2-102, 103, MCA. 
grant easements for the siting of 
state-owned lands that may be ass 



Page 72 of the DEIS states that the preferred alternative would 
also have unleased state coal being made available for sale concurrently 
with the federal lease sale. While Montana is actively evaluating the 
affected state-owned coal resources within and adjacent to the proposed 
federal lease tracts for possible future lease sale, a committment to a 
joint state- federal coal lease sale in June 1983 is not possible at this 
time. Following the evaluation of state-owned coal, a decision will be 
made regarding Montana's participation in the future federal coal lease 
sale. 

Page 103 of the DEIS reports that drawdown of area water wells as a 
result of mining will be limited to the mining tracts and an area within 
about one mile of the tracts. It is likely that the drawdown could be 
greater than one mile as stated. The distance could be as great as two 
miles, depending on the porosity and permeability of the affected 
aquifers.' 

TheDEIS on page 104 states that there is sufficient impermeable 
material below the mineable lignite to prevent the degradation of the 
lower aquifers." An indication that an analysis of the local geology 
(lithology and thickness of lower layers), hydrology (aquifer properties 
of lower materials, head differences between units) and structure 
(presence of faults, folded or fractured zones} has been completed 
should be added to the text to qualify the 'statement. 

Page 105 of the DEIS indicates that hazardous organic wastes will 
be produced^ .'An identi f icatfon of these wastes would be helpful t,o the 
reader and "Sid in the" understanding of potential impacts. 

Also on_page_J05 of the DEIS, the reader-is told that there is no 
practicalway to restore alluvial valley floors.. This is false. The 
Montana Department of State Lands received plans for restoration of the 
South "Fork -of Spring Creek adjacent to the Tongue River Reservoir prepared 
by NERCOm 1981.. Initial review of these plans indicates that, with 
minor modification' the plans could provide an acceptable method for 
reclaiming an alluvial valley floor. It may be possible to apply 
si mi ]ar_praclices_tO-the Fort Union area- 



e i g / 



MAJOR FACILITY SITING ACT 



The Montana Major Facility Siting Act (MFSA). enact 
des for comprehensive review of proposals to constr 
in tinds of facilities for generating, converting o 
Montana. The Act covers: 1) facilities that 



J in 1973, 
■ t and opei ste 
transmitting 
Jte 50 



megawatts or more of electricity; 2) facilities that can produce 25 
million cubic feet or more of gas per day; 3) facilities that can 
produce 25,000 barrels of liquid hydrocarbon products per day; 4) uranium 
enrichment facilities; 5) facilities that can use, refine or convert 
500,000 tons of coal or more per year, 6) electric transmission lines 
greater than 69 kilovolts capacity, with certain exceptions for lines 
covering short distances; 7) facilities for developing and using geotherma 
resources capable of producing 25 million Btu per hour or more; 8) 
facilities for in situ coal gasification; and 9) pipelines leading from 
or to a facility as~3efined above. Facilities under exclusive federal 

iatural gas facilities are also exempt. 
■ from Port Angeles. Washington to 
natural gas pipeline (which eventually 
e) are covered only by MEPA and not 
ilch I will describe later 



?xempt. 0i 1 and i 
Thus the Northern Tier oil pipelini 
Minnesota, and the Northern Border 
will connect with the Alaska pipelii 
by MFSA. Mining -is covered by other 



The Major Facility Siting Act has four provisions which are important 
for impact mitigation. First, the Act requires all parties planning to 
construct a facility (as defined by the Act) within the ensuing 10 years 
to file a long-range plan with DNRC. All proposed facilities must be 
adequately described in a long-range plan at least two years before DNRC 
may accept ah application. The plans are submitted on April 1st of each 
year and any new plans are generally covered by the press. The plans 
thus serve to notify the public of any proposed facilities substantially 
in advance of when they will actually be constructed. 

Second, the Act .requires that an application for a facility must 6e 
filed with the ONRC. " The application must include a description of the 
proposed facility, with discussion of alternative-sites, an explanation 
of need for a utility facility, discussion of efforts to promote 
conservation and reasonable alternative energy sources, and a filing fee, 
based on' the_ estimated construction cost of the facility, to finance the 
state's evaluation. 

Now if. you- will turn the flow chart (Figure 3) that describes the 
application and certification steps, I will walk you through the process. 
The ONRC has 90 days to determine whether an application is complete; that 
Isrwhether it contains the information required by the law and associated 
rules. When the DNRC accepts the application as complete, it then has 
22 months (in the case of generating plants) or 12 months (in the case of 
small transmission lines) to do an independent analysis, including 
preparation of an EIS under MEPA, holding public hearings, and preparing 
a final report to.the Board of Natural Resources and Conservation (BNRC). 



In the meantime, the Department of Health and Environmental Sciences 
and the Board of Health have a year, plus an additional six months if 
applicable, to determine whether the project will comply with air and 
water quality standards, and other laws administered by the Department of 
Health and Board of Health. 

Note that this period of state evaluation contains opportunity for 
working with the affected local communities to analyze impacts and 
suggest mitigation strategies. It also has a mandatory public hearing 
where the public can comment on DNRC's and the Department or Board of 
Health findings. 

Tlie third provision of the Siting Act that provides opportunities 
for mitigation is the Board of Natural Resources and Conservation decision 
as to whether to issue a certificate for project construction. The Board 
is a seven-member citizen board, appointed by the Governor. A certificate 
may not be granted unless the Board finds and determines: 1) the nature 
of the probable environmental impact; 2) that the facility represents the 
minimum adverse environmental impact, considering the state of available 
technology and the economics of various alternatives; 3) that the 
facility is consistent with regional plans for expanding utility grids 
and will- serve system economy and reliability; 4) that the facility's 
proposed location conforms to state and local laws and regulations; 
5) that the Board of Health has certified that the facility will not 
violate air and water quality standards and implementation plans; and 
6} for a utility application, that the facility serves the public 
interest, convenience and necessity. Need; environmental impact, benefits 
to the applicant and the state, effects of resulting economic activity, and 
effects on public health, safety and welfare must be considered in making 
these determinations. 



After receiving the DNRC 
ard has 1-1 months to make its deci: 
ocess, "it mdSt hold public hearing: 
■ocedures.Act. These are contested 
itnesses 



) report on the proposed project, tne 

sion. As part of its decision-making 

ider .the Montana Administrative 

e hearings involving attorneys. 

The affected local government must be a 



party to the proceedings or state why it will not be. The appl i< 

of course, .participates:. Citizen groups and-industry groups usually 
participate also. The Board must consider all the evidence and prepare 
Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law. It has three options in granting 
the Certificate: 1} Qeny a Certificate. 2) Issue a Certificate for the 
project ^'proposed by the applicant, or 3) Issue a Certificate for the 
project, hut with conditions attached. It is this power to condition 
the Certifjcate that .enables the Board to specify mitigation that the., 
dpnl leant must" Follow, Certificates may be- revoked for failure to meet 
s.afety standards or failure to comply with a,ny other conditions imposed 
by the Board;' TJnl 1Sce Montana's mining laws/ the Board is not restricted 
In the kinds' of mi ligation it can specify. Thus Socioeconomic and. 
c/uUura.1 .mitigation. 'measures can be required. 



2-58 



Examples from the Certificate which was issued in 1976 for the Colstrip 
coal-fired generating plants include two provisions affecting the Northern 
Cheyenne Tribe. The Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation is about 20 miles 
south of Colstrip. and the Tribe opposed the plants because of the potential 
effects of air pollution, because of the impacts to their culture from a 
large influx of construction workers, and because they had gotten only a 
handful of jobs from construction of the earlier Colstrip plants. Thus 
they felt they received no economic benefits, yet had to suffer the 
adverse environmental and cultural effects of the plants. The Board's 
conditions to the Certificate required Montana Power Company to work with 
the Tribe to set up. at MPC's expense, an air quality monitoring program. 
They also required that MPC work with the Tribe to establish training 
pi-ograms to develop skilled labor so that Tribal members could be employed 
during construction and operation of the coal plants. The result has 
been that, while Northern Cheyennes obtained only a small percentage of 
jobs on Colstrip Units One and Two, well over 100 have been consistently 
employed on Units Three and Four. 



Th( 



provides 
f a t 1 1 ng 
to be re. 
informat 



fourth important provision of the Siting Act from the point of 
litigation is the requirement that DNRC must monitor the 
:ion and operation of the facility to ensure that the Board's 
is are being met. The applicant must pay for the monitoring 

If the Board finds that a condition is not being complied with, 
•voke the Certificate. This enforcement, power has two benefits. 
. ensures that mitigation efforts are carried out. Second, it 

information on whether the mitigation measures are succeeding or 



olv 



the probti 
in- whether unai 
iluable for futi 



ethe 



the anticipated proble 
pated problems developed. 
mpact assessments. 



il, i 



long Range Plans provide adv. 



) public 



Persons planning to construct facilities in the ensuing ten years 
must submit a long range plan each year identifying proposed 
facilities. A facility must be identified in a long range plan 
at least two years l-efore an application is filed. 



■ Application, independent state study and public hearings under MEPA 
provide information to public and opportunity for public carcrent 

The law and rules specify a broad range of environmental, social, 
economic, and cultural factors that must be included in the 
analysis and reconnendation. . For utility applications, analysis 
of need for the project is also included. 



■ Board of Natural Resources and Conservation decision < 
of Certificate includes public hearings- and ability to attach 
conditions to a Certificate 

The law specifies that a facility must meet the standard of 
nuninum adverse impact, considering the nature and economics 
of the various alternatives. For utility facilities, standards 
for public convenience and necessity must be mat. Public again 
has opportunity to comment. Board may approve or deny a 
Certificate. Board has broad powers to specify mitigation, 
measures as conditions to a Certificate. 



- ^^onitoring facility construction and operation 

DNPC monitors to ensure Certificate conditioi 
Project sponsor pays costs of monitoring. 




r- , -i /,- / v ? i 

lu- ] 

f . Mi .' ±- i 

! »' • ( c t e < I C> c C J / st.' . 





2-59 



of S. N. Howard on the Port Unii 



^rmii 



October 7. 1982 



Lloyd Emmons 

Acting Project Manager r»/ T ' 

Fort Union Project i l -• ■ l 

Bureau of Land Management ' , t\'- 

111 N 32 Street -'»■ ' l 

P.O. Box 30157 

Billings. MT 59107 : J _ 



Thank you for sending me the July 1982 Draft Environmental Impact 
Statement , the Air Quality Supplement, and other items on the Fort Union 
Coal proposals. 

The publications which I have, have displeased me. I find the writir 
poor, the presentation of evidence fragmented, and the argument for strip- 
mining coal not proven. Straight logic seems not to have been of concern 

these publications. 



To support cry critic 
Ifficult to be specific 
entente, paragraph after 



.sin item by item would be a waste of I 
paragraph, and page after page do nol 



is difficult just to read the prose. A minor example: failuri 
t between subject and verb occurs twice in the same paragraph i 
"Development of new mines. . .have. . ." and "Each facility. . .an 
eless use of language suggests careless thinking. 



249 



Thai perhaps expla 



coal, i 



of the material. Among i 
rip-mining and attendent 
jeopardy. The material < 



e fragmentat 
Lmpai ted bj 
ems to be the one in greaze 
found all through the DEIS 
ra is rather lightly covered In j 
To find all the material, the 
and the like re water, I had to 
all headings. Why is it that t 
The damage to the water supplies will be irreversible and far 
should strip-mining proceed on the scale projected. I should 
to my questions: do these reports deliberately obfuscate the 
about, and the projections of scientific inquiries into, hydn 



look 



ight and one-half 
hrough the whole report 
great 



ike , 



fa 



o^y < 



250-r 



be harmed. This is especially the case in 
find any parts of the reports which demonsi 
ranteed protection from strip-mining. 



now? Today's paper had a story i 
large scale. This will be a cli 
o a renewable source of energy. 



E. 



250 



Why should the Department of the Interior 
urely? The public lands and the minerals bt 
atlon. I hope they will not be given away, 
are decreasing our dependence on OPEC. Let 
similar domestic cartels which would rape tl 
ses, or public lands at this time. 



There are so many inconsistencies in the i 
am overwhelmed at the prospect of listing them, 
writing is poor, and the material is contradlcl 
I do wish to commend those who put together th< 
This, apart from a misleading photograph < 
typical vli 



fhe 



,1 ..1.1, . 



ell 



is 



They support my < 



tory in many places. But 
e maps, charts, and graphics 
"typical" view, p. 9. 

.ares of farmland. 



Solvejg N. 1 
11551 Ohio i 




< lounty of McCone 



County Commissioners 

CIRCLE. MONTANA S9215 



October 6th, 1982 



251 



of ficiab responsible for county government administration, 
we would find the EIS much more helpful if it also included 
the figures for county population and budget impacts. 



Thank you for i 




Edwin Moos, Member 

. - ^ ■/£■<»- **J^/Z., f £-. -up, 
Melvm Skyberg, Mwrtber _/ 



Melvin Skyberg. 



i -».'c^\ 



g* -jJ[RKyKFFlLIATED TRIBES • FORT BERTHOLD RESERVATION 

4 'liAJIaMdan.T^idQtsa andt^ifea/iciTj/iibee 

TRIBAL BUSINESS COUNCIL 



October 8. 1982 



Loyd I 






252 



Acting Project Manager, Fort Union Pr< 
Bureau of Land Management 
222 N. 32nd Street 
P.O. Box 30157 
Billing.,, Montana 59107 



After reviewing the "Air Quality Information 
Supplemental to the Port Onion Coal Region Draft 
Environmental Impact Statement" the Three Affiliated 
Tribes feel there is sufficient reason to express 
concern for the fate of air quality on the Fort 
Bertbold Reservation. The North Dakota State 
Department of Health has sent the Tribes three 
"Notices of Intent to Issue an Air Pollution Control 

involved will contribute to an exceedance of the 
24-Hour PSD Claas I increment for aulfur dioxide for 
the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and one will 

National Wildlife Area. 

If the 24-Hr PSD Class I increment in areas near the 
reservation is exceeded by present or planned PSD 
uaera the Tribea will be severely atifled in 
developing the fossil fuel reaourcea on the Port 
Berthold Reservation. Because the extent of the coal 



uDde 



jua 



iul 






following Air Quality legi 



2-60 



252 



elopuent of 



Sincerely your.. 



Tribal Buaineae Council 

Lawrin H. Baker, Admuniatrator . NRD 

Leo Brocke, Superintendent, Fort Berthold Agci 

101.2 



is ? 



253 



October 7, 1982 



Mr. Bob Kaiser 
Governor's Office 
State Capitol 
Bismarck, NO 58505 

COMMENTS ON FORT UNION COAL FORMATION ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT 

The Highway Department has some concerns about the proposed development of coal 
deposits in the state. Our analysis indicates that many of the routes that will 
be impacted by the proposed developments are weaker and older sections of 
highways. The statement did not address truck volumes which would enable us to 
better determine what the Impacts upon these highways would be. In addition, 
the proposed scheduling of improvements may conflict with the movement of 
workers and materials to plant sites. Finally, the Killdeer rail branchline 

rves the Killdeer-Ounn Center area is currently proposed for abandonment 



■ithin thn 



yea r 



During the construction of the Coal Creek, Coyote, and Antelope Valley I power 
plants, segments of highways directly impacted by the developments required 
increased maintenance efforts. In one instance, resurfacing was required to 
preserve the road from certain failure. This caused some congestion and 
increased travel time for construction workers to the sites. 



the department would 1 
to anticipate the cons 



consequences of these move- 
would also aid the department, 
ine from beinq abandoned and to 
Id be generated should the line 



These are the type of oco 
In order to do this, more information o 
is required. This will enable us to an 
ments upon the affected highways. This 
if it is necessary, to keep the Kt 1 1dee 
determine the additional truck volumes i 
be abandoned. 

We feel that the movement of materials on the transportation system is an 
important issue that the Department of Interior should address in the final 
environmental impact statement. It is also important that the Highway Department 
is provided as much lead time as possible prior to project construction in order 
to protect the highways and to provide safe and uncongested movement of people 
and goods 






UTAH INTERNATIONAL INC 



18 October 1982 



Mr. Lloyd Emmons 

Port Union Coal Project Staff 

Bureau of Land Management 

222 North 32nd Street 

P.O. Box 30157 

Billings, Montana $9107 



Dear Mr. Burtons: 

Utah International, Inc. (UTAH) is a diversified mining corporation with coal 
mines in the Western United States. He have a substantial interest in the 
Garrison Tract in North Dakota and are vitally interested in the leasing of 
coal in the pt. Union Region. We have reviewed the Bureau of Land 
Management's Environmental Impact statement on Federal Coal Leasing in the Pt. 
Union Region and we would like to make three points. 

Pirst, we commend the Bureau of Land Management for their fine effort in the 
Environmental Impact statement in identifying all the ma]or areas of concern 
and assessing the regional impacts associated with coal development within the 
Ft. Union Region. 

Second, UTAH supports the preferred leasing alternative (alternative three) of 
832.8 million tons of federal coal for new production in 1983 which includes 
the leasing of federal coal on the Garrison Tract. This level of leasing will 
insure free competition and allow the marketplace to determine the allocation 
and development of the coal resources of the region. 

Finally, on the issue of wetland reclamation, UTAH recognizes the importance 
of wetlands as wildlife habitat, and believes that wetlands can be 
successfully reclaimed, and that mining and reclamation can provide an 
opportunity for enhancement of the wetland resources. 

Attached are UTAH'S detailed written comments on the Environmental Impact 
Statement. Thank you for the opportunity to express our views. 



254 
255 

256 



257 
258 

259 



COMMENTS UN THE FORT UNION COAL REGION ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT 
and AIR QUALITY INFORMATION SUPPLEMENT 



a. Annual production should be changed from 5.7 MM TPY to 2.8 MM TPY. 

Current market conditions indicate that a 400 MW mine-mouth power 
plant will be built in conjunction with the devlopment of the 
Garrison Tract. Preliminary engineering estimates show that 2.8 MM 
TPY will be needed to supply an electric generating station of that 
size. This production figure is consistent with figures presented 
in Table 1-3 on page SO for facilities of similar size (e.g. Coyote 
|1 and Big stone Generating Stations). 

b. The acreage required for the mine facility sould be changed from 240 



The mine facility acreage figure is high and should be changed to 
160 acres to be consistent with the mine facilility acreage 
requirements for the other tracts. 

The electric power plant non-potable water needs should be cut from 
12,000,000 gallons per day to 6,000,000 galllons per day to reflect 
the needs of a 400 MW plant. 

On page 73 of the Northern Great Plair 
E : i ectE. of coal Development Ln bhe jj n _ 
of Interior, 1975), the water requirements for a 1000 MW power plant 
are estimated at between 10,900,000 and 17,200,000 gallons of water 
per day (assuming 360 days of operation per year). This range of 
water usage is in line with the figure of 12,000,000 gallons per day 
presented in the EIS for a 1000 MW facility. But since the Garrison 
Tract is only planning a facility of 400 MW, as stated on page 51 of 
the EIS, the water figure should be cut in half to provide a more 
timate of water usage. 

i should be changed from 



Page 93, Table 2-9. The Garrison Tract is shown t 
one cultural resource site but the type of site is 
table. 

Page 123, Column 2, Paragraphs 3 and 4. 

Utah International, Inc. recognizes the importance of wetlands as 
wildlife habitat, but strongly believes that not only can wetlands be 
successfully reclaimed, but that mining and reclaimation provide an 
opportunity for enhancement of the wetland resources. 



2-61 



259 



260 



dying < 



be recognized that all wetlands of the Pothole Region ate slowly 
: they proceed through stages of natural succession from deep 
water, to shallow water, to dryland. Succession has been expedited in 
many areas since agricultural practices were introduced. Plowing of 
adjacent lands, with the attendent erosion, has contributed to the 
import of soil into the wetlands. This has contributed in large measure 
to the decline in deep water habitats and the attendent decline in 
"diving" on deep-water ducks, such as canvasbacks, an issue of great 
concern to sportsmen. This concern has resulted in the establishment of 
man-made wetlands by government agencies, conservation organizations and 
private individuals across the Prairie Pothole Region (Wildlife Use of 
Man-made wetlands in the Prairie Pothole Region: A Selected Annotated 
Bibliography; South Dakota Cooperative wildlife Research Unit, Technical 
Bulletin No. 2, October 1981). It should be noted that the U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service has spent millions of dollars in dredging and 
modifying wetlands to enhance waterfowl production. 

Many wetland ecologists agree that if a similar contour and surface 
retention capability is restored, natural succession will restore the 
wetland in 15 to 20 years. This process could be accelerated with the 
use of reclamation procedures (e.g., topsoiling, seeding, transplanting 
and fertilization). Wetland enhancement can be achieved by combining a 
series of small scattered wetlands in the course of reclamation to form 
one large, deeper wetland. This would provide improved habitat for 
deep-water ducks, while at the same time increase the efficiency of 
farming operations by reducing the number of small wetlands that 
interfere with efficient farming methods. 

Thus, it is clearly within our technical capability not only to reclaim 
wetlands, but to address regional wetland concerns and to enhance 
wetlands or optimize them to benefit certain featured wildlife species. 

Page 5-6, Table 2-2. The title of Table 2-2 should be changed to read. 

Proposed Intergral Vistas Associated with the Theodore Roosevelt 

The word proposed should be added to the title of Table 2-2 because no 
final agency action has been taken on the list of integral vistas (as 
discussed on Page 5-5, Column 1, Paragraph 2). Currently, these 
integral vistas have no legislative standing and this should be clearly 
indicated in both the text and associated tables in the entire dooiMent. 




Sidney Chamber 
of Commerce 




■ ■ ■ 



■ -,,_: ■. I ■ ■ , ■ 



UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT 

memorandum 



Division of Trust, Land Operations t- — 

Comments concerning Draft Environmental Impacts on Fort u nion 
Regional Coal (OES 82/17) 



State Director, Bureau of Land Management. Billings 
Billings Area Oirector 



^T ; 


/ Ki ' 


Tour «£fTce 



261 

262 
263 



Under provision of Alternative 3-6. Meridian Coal Company would 
be involved in a coal exchange for the purposes of developing a 
methanol facility. The water which would be required for the 
synfuel development would originate from the Fort Peck 0am 
reservoir. 

The Sioux and Assiniboine have paramount water rights to that 
water. Therefore, we urge consultation with the Sioux and Assini- 
boine Tribes of the Fort Peck Reservation concerning this matter. 
In addition, we recommend consultation with the Fort Berthold and 
Turtle Mountain Tribes, as well as other Indian down stream water 
users. 



The Fort Peck Tribes are considering redesignation to a Class I 
air quality for the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. Therefore, 
provision to adequately address this standard would have to be 
applied to stack emissions from the Meridian methanol project. 



The relatively close proximity of the towns of Wolf Point and 
Poplar to the Meridian proposed minisite and methanol plant 
indicates a potential for increased population. If Meridian 
should reach the full production phase, the influx of people 
associated with the project could apply significant strain upoi 
each towns municipal services. Consultation with the Sioux am 
Assiniboine Tribes is recommended 




8uy US Savings Bonds Regularly on the Payroll Savings PI. 



State of North Dakota 



October IS, 1982 



The Honorable James Matt 
Secretary of the Interior 
U.S. Department of the Interii 
Washington, D.C. 20240 

Dear Mr. Secretary: 



ntal Impact Statement for the 



My office, through my representative on the Fort Union Regional Coal 
Team, has been involved with Bureau of Land Management state and regional 
offices in holding two public information meetings and one formal hearing 
in North Oakota designed to receive public comment on the Fort Union Coal 
Team's preferred leasing alternative and the Draft Environmental Impact 
Statement. The meetings went well, and public comment was generally pos- 
itive. 

Aside from the draft air quality section, I am pleased with the sys- 
tematic and detailed approach used by the Coal Team in the leasing process. 
The results indicate to me that the majority of our residents have no ob- 
jection to the leasing plan outlined in "Preferred Alternative No. 3" pro- 
posed by the Fort Union Regional Coal Team. 



Barring any new impact, I am looking forward to a June '83 lease 
which would include all the North Dakota tracts in the Fort Union Reg 
Coal Team's "Preferred Leasing Alternative No. 3." 

If I can be of any assistance, please let me know. 

Kindest regards. 



sale 



^iL ^ 



2-62 



dii 

MERIDIAN LAND & MINERAL COMPANY 



October 18, 1962 



264 



David Darby 














Bureau of Land Man 


genet 












PO Box 30157 














Billing*, MT 59107 














Dear Mr. Darby: 














Meridian Land t. Hi 


leral 


Company ■- 


ould Ilk 


e to auboi 


t the fol lowing 


comments on 


the Draft Fort Uni 


on Co 


I Region 


Envirom 


sental Imp« 


ct Statement o 


July 1982. 


Our interest in t 




terns fro 


m our pos 


tion ss a maj 


or owner of 


lignite reserves i 


n the 


region c 


nd as s 


party to 


the proposed c 


al exchange 


near Circle, Mont 


na. 


The checkerboard 


pattern o 


our ownership 


means that 


our ability to manage 




erals i 


governed 


by federal c 


oal leasing 


activity in the r 


egioa 


Unless 


the go 




r leases or 


exchanges, it will 


be ■-. i 


fficult t 


a mine the Meridian 


controlled coa 


1. 


Meridian commends 


BLH 


for its 


9 t tempt 


to discusi 


possible imp 


cts of the 




the 


ort Uniot 


region 




a very difficu 


t task when 


the level of deve 


opaec 


t which 


. likely to occur 


is hard to forecast . In 


addition, the BLH 


h«» c 


ot had s 


te-spec 


fie plan. 


for each tract 


from which 


they could detern 


ne po 


tential i 


mpacts. 


Hoi - i Chi 


tanding some p 


oblems, the 


BLH haa made the 


beat 


of this 


taak. 


The folic* 


ing comments i 


eflect some 


concern, and changes Mer 


id i an wou 


Id like 


o aee addr 


essed in the fi 


nal EIS. 


1. Meridian's possible 


coal de 


elopment 




irele West are 


a should be 


clarified and diit 


logu i 


hed from 


hypoche 


tic.l gene 


ric synfuel sc 


narios used 


for the purpose 


of wc 




assessments. Ea 




r. Meridian 


supplied BLH with 








for Circle 


West which we 


elt was the 






which 1 


endian 


would ha 




rol should 


deve lopment occur 




> slterns 


tive we 


supplied 


was a plant 


facility to 


manufacture 2.500 




or 18.000 barrel 


s, per day 




This number 


vas based on the 


■ostil 


ility th 


t our s 


iscer subs 


diary, Burling 


on Northern 


Mail road, might c 


nvert 


some di 


sel loc 


^motives t 


1 methanol, an 


represents 






easary fo 


r such a 


demand . 


La the market s 




plant of this type nil 


not be 


built be 


cause the 


economics are 


unfavorable. 


Should the fuel si 




n deteric 




in in the 


;uture, the eco 


nomics might 


change sod make m 


Ihum: 


1 convers 


ion a v 


able plan 


In any event 


, given the 


lack of formal p 




and leng 


hy perm 


i tt ing requirements, cos 


mine* and 


conversion facilit 


Lea p 


robably w 


ill not 


be under .. 


onstruction at 


Circle West 



Any other scenario in the DEIS document relating to Circle West, including the 
generic 85,000 barrels per day synfuel facilities, should be designated as 
hypothetical for the purpose of BLH's assessment . We do not see development 
at this magnitude ss that most likely to occur, and it is hoped the public 
would keep that in mind when reviewing the discussion and associated impscts. 
We would point out that a proposed plant *t 85,000 barrel* per day is capable 
of nearly 2003 of BN Railroad's total diesel fuel demand today. 



265 



266 



267 



2. BLH's impsct assessment should address the likely level of development 
which might occur in th* future as a result of this leasing action. As 
currently written, the DEIS addresses only the highest level of development 
and assumes that every teased tract would be developed . We support the need 
for this analysis and commend the BLH for its attempt to take on this 
difficult task. Our concern, however, is that such an analysis does not give 
the decision-maker or the public a very realistic picture of the likely level 

poor condition of current markets, it is unlikely that the number of tracts 
and Levels of production comprising the various leasing alternatives studied 

impacts will actually be generated by increased levels of leasing because it 
is unlikely that all leased tracts will reach producton. This means that the 
larger the leasing alternative is, the greater the overstatement of production 
and resulting impacts is likely to be. 



tongly suggesi 



the BLH 



C I OS. 



fol 



al 



3. The DEIS Summary (p. ii) and 
identi fy and separate the temporar 
requires that an EIS identify shot 
has been accomplished. This is 



5 (p. ii) is unintelligibl 
compliance with federal 
destroying a port: 



(particularly 



. The final EIS could use this 
possible production levels from 
would clearly put impact levels 



mmariiing impscts und 
likely to occur. Sui 
utes would not all* 
Valley." We suggesi 



analys 
regarding impaci 



Many of the 



268 



of Chapti 
definttio 
of this n. 



6. All discussions of environmental 
of the impacts from the preferred 
alternatives in the ideal. We wou 



for all 



, and figures in the Comparison o 
unclear. Host of the problem seems Ci 
soale for the units of analysis withii 
efinition and rationale is contained ii 
I, therefore, that the BLH remove thi 
63-73) from Chapter 1 and place it a 

onsequences should contain an snalysi 

mp let ing thi: 
ss. This is i 



for 



269 



difficult and time-consuming t 
most of the trscts in the region are nonexistent. We are concerned, howeve 
that the air quality discussions (including those in the supplement) have n 
clearly identified the impacts from the preferred alternative. T 
information on the location and degree of impscts given in the discuss i 
section (pp. 5-16 to 5-32) i* extremely difficult to follow and digest into 
useable form. We would recommend that the BLH add figures to the Air Quail 
Supplement showing comparable information for the preferred si terns t ive ss 
currently in Supplement Figures 3-2 through 3-13. The existing figures in t 
Supplement are useful and , in combination with additional figures 
Alternative 3, would provide a more complete analysis. We would al 
recommend that the BLM restructure the discussions in the Air Qua 1 1 
Supplement to conform to the basic format used by the other resource progra 
Chapter 3. This format is easy to follow and brings the analysis in 



nfort 



ith 






gan 



270 



271 



M hi :. I [ onaequei 



the 



it ion from mining companies; howev 
DEIS to subtract this compensstio 

i the DEIS seems to be solely on loi 
annual peak year loss in net iacoi 
snge from $160 t 



gan 



We would : 



on on agricultur. 






variables whi. 



thesi 



Kl- 



diffi. 



a) 



en given I 



at think enough discussion ha 
t new populations might be handled by "compan 
wo" approaches; snd b) the DEIS should attempt to quantify for eacl 
ternative the Montana coal impact money available for grants. The DEIS ha; 
entified its assumptions regarding population locations and tax returns 
iwever, it does not discuss the extent to which company towns and impac 
ants could mitigste the described economic impacts. We believe the publi. 
ou Id be made aware of the extent to which these available opt : 
t igate the impacts. 



Id 



272 



Meridian would like to commend the BLH for its creative use of graphic 
lustrations in the DEIS. The figures, tables, and maps in this document 
tempt to complement snd summsriie the text with remarkable ingenuity. We 
e concerned, however, that some of the figures (particularly Figures 1-1 
rough 1-17 ) con t sin so much information in such a clever format that they 
e misleading. When looking at some of these figures it is difficult to tell 
hich time periods they cover , whether they include or exclude baseline data, 
hat some of the units of analysis are. Most of these problems could be 
f ied by amending the titles, by adding explanations to the legends , and 
by moving Figures 1-10 through 1-17 to the end of Chapter 3. Our primary 

xchsnge or the Woodson PRLA must increase the tons of coal mined and the 
mpacts. Host of this stems from the fsct that the DEIS has described these 
lternatives in conjunction with Alternative 3. but has not clearly separated 
he impacts of Alternative 3 from Meridian's proposed plan or from BLH's 

that impscts from the Meridian-BLM exchange are equal to leasing the 
by-paas tracts plus eight other tracts, whereas the potential impacts 
bu table to the exchange are only a small fraction of this. The text 
to be less confusing on this point than the figures. We would reconmend 
the BLM revise the figures to make the distinction clearer between 



Alt< 



3 le 



ing - 



the BLH will 



"»•' ■ 



<?Jt*4+.1X» X&eX 



2-63 



Hr. Lloyd Emmons, Acting Project Manager/,- -f**"") h> ''•'^"' 
Fort Union Project, Bureau of Land Mar^graentHf «i\ V 

222 N. 32nd Street 
P.O. Box 30157 
Billings, Montana 59107 



g OCT I - g a 

ouicai; uj Land 



I was unable to st 
Mt. on Sept. 29, 1982, 
aj^pt the Draft SIS. I 
to agriculture and the i 



•nd the ?ort Union DraTt^nr" Hearing in Glendive, 

it I nave a few comments that I would like to maki 
un particularly concerned about off site impacts 
scial impacts to our communities. 



273 



274 
275 



ien my great grandfather moved to this p.rt of the country and home- 
13 miles southwest of Lindsay he quickly learned that only the 

at had an easily available source of water succeeded. My fa- 
mily ^nd I still 'arm this original homestead and now, as then, water is am 
absolute necessity to our farm and ranch operation. 

I am concerned about industrial claims en Eastern Montana water, parti- 
cularly ground water sources. Ha rum cattle near a proposed facility siting;. 
As an off-site water user, where do I stand if an industrial water user uses, 
or iegrid^s, the fiter that I depend upon for my livelihood. 

I realize that the BLM does net deal with water rights, however, you do 
address the issue of water quality in the Draft EIS. You state "mining ac- 
tivity in all of the alternatives would have varying degrees of impacts upon 
the groundwater resource;" that "the chemical quality of the grourtiwater could 
be changed;" that "the number of wells that would experience water level 
(fowndrawo or have the quality degraded varies from 1*5 to 731,;" and that this 
will mean a "higher operating expanse and maintainance costs to the water 
user." '/hat you are actually saying is that you do not know what is going 
to hapten; that you cannot accurately predict tha adverse ai'fects brought 
on by industrial development. Tou do assume me however, that it will cost 
me more, and even with the increased cost I may never be assured of the 
original ouality or quantity of water that 1 had before development. 

I am also concerned with the degradation o? our air quality in Eas- 
tern Montana. What effects will increased SOg -amissions have on crop yield? 
I have read studiss indicating -.hat cro- yield may decrease by as uu 
15**. "Jh^t ibout -.he -rabies zi sold r2l« Tsu say ,,j-. "the enviK - 
ocnaerusr nnot >;sily be predicted" and that "coh- 

itoring studies should be ccntinued... p-r-.icul.j-l7 in Kontar.a." In other 

ces or recourse if the worst case develops. 

I withdrew fro- an Bngin-eriR£ PhD. program to return to farminj and 
ranching pri^rlly because of social values. As an example I embrace the 
Western doctrine of 1 man's handshake is his bond. However, I have quickly- 
learned that this custom is completely 'oreign to anyone conneated with the 
Energy business. I fear that -dth the projected industrial development of 
this area, the social values that I and many others cherish will be des- 
troyed . 



276 



According to your figures, populations in some of the ™n towns will 
double or triple. Circle, for instance, is expected to grow rrom 900 at 
present to 9000 in alternative 6, a 10 fold increase. As an off-site Land- 
owner, I am concerned as to the source of community service money, money 
which has trditionally come from property (land) taxes. The Draft EIS is 
very unclear as to what is included in the fiscal balance calculations. 
Since the Draft EIS figures budget* only for the cities, it may be assumed 
that the county and school district budgets were not included which may 
greatly underestimate the taxation imoact on off-site landowners. 



In conlcusicn, I am 
the Draft EIS in respect to off-site impact: 
ty, and cost of social programs and deeply 
and irreversable loss of our social values 



many 



quantity, water quali- 
bout the probable 
way of life. 



'^JLz?'£"Jkz 



TEIISCHWINDEN 



*tn!r of JHnntana 
Stfficr of lip (Seormoi 
Mrlcna. Bonlann 59620 



October 19. 1982 



Hr. Lloyd Emmons 
Acting Project Manager 
Fort Union Project 
Bureau of Land Management 
P.O. Box 30157 
Billings, Montana 59107 

Oear Mr. Emmons: 

The A1r Quality Bureau of the Montana Department of Health and 
Environmental Sciences has reviewed the September 1982, Air Quality 
Information Supplemental to the Fort Union Coal Region Draft EIS and the 
August 1982, Air Quality and Climate Technical Report. We have also had 
a chance to review comments made by the North Dakota State Department of 
Health in their September 27, 1982, letter. 

The following comments are made with regard to the documents. 



277 
278 
279 



As stated 

the documei 
altemativi 
that a trai 

impact ! 



1 North Dakota's letter (comment 1) the purpose of 
; is to study the desirability of various leasing 
. and their impact on air quality. In the event 
was leased and a facility was proposed, another 



The Montana Air Ouality Bureau wishes to disclaim direct 
involvement in the development of the modeling study plan as 
implied on page S-ll of the Supplemental. The Bureau did, 
however, attend meetings and expressed its opinion in regard 
to the modeling. Information was supplied from time-to-time 
at BLM's request. 

On page S-3 of the Supplemental, it is correctly stated that 
the SO2 baseline date for Montana was established as of 
August 7, 1977. However, it should be noted that the State 
Air Quality Bureau has proposed a new rule which would set a 
statewide SO2 baseline date as of March 26, 1979. The final 
PSD rule may contain a county-by-county or an impact area 
mechanism for triggering baseline dates. 






280 

281 

282 
283 



The modified version of COMQC and MESOPUFF are not EPA-approved 
models but may be the best models available for regional 
modeling. As stated in North Dakota's letter (comment 7} use 
of MESOPUFF "requires EPA approval in each PSD new source 
review." Two questions arose concerning COMQC: 



Is it ■ 



ilid to composite STAR decks from sever 
to produce a STAR deck for the region? 



b. Can CDMQC be used for regional modeling? Or should 
this model be used for receptor distances less than 
50 km? 

5. Appendix F is unclear as noted in North Dakota's letter 
(comment 5). On page S- 14 of the Supplemental it is stated 
that "other major sources near the Fort Union Coal Region, 
such as the Colstrip and Poplar River power plants, are 
included in the 1997 baseline inventory." It appears from 
Appendix F that Colstrip Units 3 and 4 have not been included 
in the 1997 baseline inventory. 

6. We agree with North Dakota's comment 12. The 1975 baseline 
emission sources impact upon air quality may be included 
twice. With regard to measured background concentrations, 
this problem may be more significant for North Dakota than 
Montana. This is due to locations of monitors and level of 
activity. 

7. A discussion of the emission estimations would be helpful. 
This would include the emission factors used, production 
rates, and control techniques or efficiencies. This type of 
information could be included in the Technical Report. 

Thank you for the oppon 




ZmZU 



2-64 



COMMENTS OF THE ASS1NIBOINE (, SIOUX TRIBES OF THE 

FORT PECK RESERVATION ON FORT UNION COAL REGION DRAFT 

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT 



pronghorn antelope, and 
tory game birds. 



ety of birds, including migr 



The Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck 
Reservation submit these comments on the Fort Union Coal 
Region draft EIS because we believe that the draft EIS does 
not provide enough information to adequately measure the 

rLTiental effects of alternatives under consideration, 
and that the environmental effects which are revealed by the 
draft EIS are sufficiently serious as to warrant seltction 
of jn alternative with minimum possible ■•■■- 



The In 



of the Tribes 



The Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes occupy the Fort 
Peck Reservation located in northeastern Montana. The 
Reservation is in the Fort Union Region, approximately 30 to 
50 miles north of the proposed leasing sites in Montana. 

ng would occur on tracts south of the Reservation in 
all .aternatives except alternative one. 

The remoteness of the Fort Peck Reservation has so 
far protected its natural environment. The air is relatively 
clean and pure; there remain areas of natural vegetation 
typical of the shortgrass prairie habitat, with some tim- 
bered areas; and the Reservation supports a diverse wildlife 
population including white-tailed and mule deer, migratory 



284 



Development in the region threatens the environ- 
ment of the Reservation and to the extent possible the 
Tribes have sought to preserve their natural resources. In 
particular, concern for the air quality has led the Tribe to 
seek Class I status under the Clean Air Act for the Reserva- 
tion. That redesignation is under active consideration, and 
approval is expected shortly. 

The Fort Union Coal Region leasing and development 
potentially will have a serious impact on the Reservation. 
Air pollution resulting from the project will degrade the 
quality of the Reservation air, in some instances exceeding 
the Class I increments on the Reservation. Wildlife on the 
Reservation, especially migratory wildlife, may suffer as a 
result of injury to habitats south of the Reservation. One 
of the towns to be affected by influxes of workers. Wolf 
Point, is the largest population center on the Reservation. 
In addition, tribal members, as residents of the area, have 
an interest in the environment of the area around the Reser- 
vation. For example, tribal members use the fishing and 
recreational facilities of Fort Peck Lake. 



285 



II. The draft EIS does not adequately document the 

scope and number of possible violations of NAAQS 
and PSD standards. 

Although the draft EIS focuses almost exclusively 
on whether and to what extent the alternatives under con- 
sideration would violate air quality standards or PSD incre- 
ments, it fails on at least three counts to document the 
full extent that the proposals would violate those standards. 

First, the worst case episodes were selected for 
analysis on the basis of the impact at Theodore Roosevelt 
National Memorial Park (TRNP) . The draft EIS states spe- 
cifically that there might be events which would have larger 
impacts on other Class I areas. TRNP was selected for the 
worst case analysis "for the obvious reason of its status as 
a PSU Class I area located virtually in the middle of the 
Fort Union Coal Region." (DEIS, page S-16.) However, 
examination of the wind rose for Dickinson, North Dakota 
(Figure 2-3) shows that the prevailing winds are from the 
west and northwest, with the second most common winds from 
the south and southeast. TRNP is located west of the ex- 
tensive proposed lease tracts in North Dakota and far enough 
south so that it misses much of the pollution dispersed when 

_y 

the winds are from the south. Thus, while centrally 
located, it may not be the best choice location for the 



_1/ TRNP south unit is south of all but a few of the trac 
proposed for leasing. TRNP north unit is just a few miles 
north of most tracts -- not enough to bring it within the 
dispersion pattern for south or southeasterly winds. 



285 



286 



worst case analysis. It would have been more informative to 
analyze the air quality at a location southeast of the bulk 
of the leased lands and another north of the leased lands. 
Examination of worst case episodes at TRNP may also result 
in understatement of the impact on Class II areas closer 

_v 

to the proposed lease sites. 

Furthermore, there is no information from which it 
could be determined whether the worst case events selected 
were typical, unusually good or unusually bad. They were 
selected because they were the worst cases in 1964, the year 
for which the most complete and detailed data were available. 
(DEIS, page S-16.) However, some comparison of 1964 with 
other years is needed to determine whether 1964 was a typical 
year. If not, then conclusions based on that year are 
meaningless. 



ally, the modeling outcomes admittedly conta 
factor of two. DEIS, page S-15. To provid 
ure of possible violations of Clean Air Act 
is potential error should be taken into acco 



complete 
standards 



_2/ It is worth noting that in the two worst case events for 
which contour maps were drawn, pollution dispersed to the 



rth, and that PSD viola 



projected for both For 



__}/ Furthermore, violations of Class II standards may be 
cealed in the 10 km. grid size used for the modeling. Thi 
grid size is larger than the scale for some impacts. Thus 
the average effect in a 10 km. grid near a leasing site ma 
be less than the most serious impact in that grid. 



2-65 







The contour maps should have lines at increments equal to 




one-half the increment which would be a violation, and 


287 


"possible" violations should be noted when increments twice 




those showing would violate PSD or NAAQS requirement. This 




is not done in the draft EIS. 








Thus, although it focused primarily on identifying 




possible violations of Clean Air Act standards, the draft 


288 


EIS does not succeed in fully determining the extent of 




possible violations. Violations could well turn out to be 




more frequent and widespread than the draft EIS indicates. 








III. The draft EIS does not summarize the air quality 




effects of the proposed alternatives in sufficient 




detail to permit an evaluation of the overall air 




quality effects of those alternatives. 


In focusing on the extent to which development 




under the proposed alternatives will violate national 




ambient air quality standards or prevention of significant 




deterioration standards, the air quality portion of the draft 


^oo 


EIS fails to provide the information necessary to evaluate 


259 


the overall effects on air quality of the proposed develop- 




ment. This is a crucial shortcoming. The National Environ- 




mental Policy Act requires that the agency prepare a de- 




tailed statement of all environmental effects of any proposed 




action. The EIS must be sufficiently complete to enable 




intelligent evaluation of the action. If compliance with 




other environmental statutes were sufficient NEPA would be 




superfluous. 







289 



ttempt to describe a number of potential envi 


™« 


ental ef 


ects which it concedes are or may be sigmfic 


ant. 


For 


xample, the discussion of organic compound em 


issi 


ons amou 



eludes that the data to 
available and that (DEIS, 



size of gasifica 


-ion 


ities associated with 


res o 


the Fort Un 


on Coal 


;a of 


potential co 


icern and 


illy 


evaluated as 




comp 


eted, and as 


specific 


ts at 


e proposed. 





Due to the 
and liquefa 
development 
Region, thi 
should be m 



This casual dismissal of the problem is unacceptable 
The necessary work will have to be done eventually; it 
should be done now. After the leasing is approved and the 
development is underway, the pressure to build the gasifica 



tion and liquefacti 
enormous. Any adverse en 
at that stage may well be 



plants 



utili 



ntal 



pra 



al 



M< i] 



the coal will be 
formation turned up 
levant to the decisions as a 
iany of those projects may be 
with private funds, and thus 
Since there is as yet no 

ially unregu- 



undertaken by private partie 

would not be subject to NEPA 

NAAQS for these emissions, they would be essent 

lated. Clearly, the time to evaluate this envi 

pact of the Fort Union coal development is befo 

development begins. 



_V Unless the entire project, including the particular facil- 
ities, is to be completed without any analysis of this problem. 



7 




Another environmental impact not adequately ad- 




dressed by the draft EIS is acid rain. The EIS concedes 




that increasing acidity would eventually consume the buffer- 




ing capacity of local soil, and that emissions of S0 2 and NO. 


290 


will contribute to acidity of precipitation. DEIS at S-36. 




But little attention was devoted to attempting to estimate 




the effects, even within broad ranqes. The only information 




provided is that which turned up in the modeling study 




directed toward visibility problems. 




Effects of the air pollution on weather and on 




water quality were dismissed with the assertions that the 




information necessary to assess them was not available. 




There was no attempt to collect data, or to determine the 


?Q1 


range of possible effects. To ignore a potentially sig- 


CL.ZJ 1 


nificant problem because of lack of information about it 




will not m.ike it go away. Again, the time to collect i_tie 




information is now, before the decisions are made and become 




irreversible. 




Those problems and impacts which are addressed by 




the draft EIS are not adequately described or analyzed so as 




to make determination of the project's desirabiltiy --as 


292 


opposed to its compliance with the Clean Air Act -- pos- 




sible. Thus, the discussion of dispersion of total suspended 




ilates <TSP) , S0 2 and N0 2 , focuses exclusively on 




whether NAAQS or PSD standards will be violated. There is 



292 



293 



no discussion of the differences in impacts between those 
alternatives which do not violate a particular standard. For 
example, contour maps showing the SO- 24-hour average incre- 
mental concentrations for the December 4-5 event are given 
for alternatives 1 and 5, and for the July 4-5 event for 
alternative 6 . However, maps showing the impact of the 
other alternatives are not given, so comparison of those 
alternatives with each other or with the alternatives pre- 

_v 

sented is not possible. 

In addition, there is no attempt to determine what 
the average or normal pollution effects will be. The EIS 
looked only at 3 two-day worst case events; we have no way 
of knowing whether the normal situation is significantly 
better than those worst cases, about the same, or, for some 
areas, worse. The normal pollution level is clearly im- 
portant in measuring the overall environmental impacts of a 

J/ 
project. 



The draft EIS 
the effects the concent 



ns no discussion whatsoeve 
of pollutants resulting fr 



5 / Figures at some 
provided does not pe 

6 / The worst cases 

cations could suffer 
were not the worst c 



locations for some of the other alter- 
the text; but again the information 
rmit a comparison of all alternatives. 

were worst cases at TRNP. Other lo- 

worse pollution under conditions which 
ase for purposes of that analysis. 



7 / Nor is there any discussion at all of impacts in Canada. 
The contour lines on many of the maps extend across the 
Canadian border; but there is no discussion of Canadian 
standards or whether they will be violated. 



2-66 



293 



294 



the project would have. Thus, for example, there is no dis- 
cussion of the impact on vegetation which might be expected 
from SO, resulting from the proposed coal development. 
While this information may not be directly relevant to 
determining whether the development would violate the Clean 
Air Act, it is certainly crucial to evaluating the overall 
environmental impact of the project and determining whether 
development should proceed. 

The analysis of secondary air pollution impacts 
associated with population and economic growth is also in- 
adequate. No information is provided on the air pollution 
impacts during the period of peak population due to con- 
struction. The draft EIS states only that "later years 
(after peak construction) were selected on the premise that 
the effect of vehicle emissions on ambient air quality is 
expected to be greater once the facilities * • * become 
operational and are themselves discharging emissions * * *" 
(DEIS at S-39) . However, all of the comparisons are with 
baseline vehicular emissions,- there are no comparisons which 

m the other facilities contemplated 
ing. Furthermore, in some com- 
ons might be locally more sig- 
ilities. Evaluation of these 
nt to the selection of the most 



depend ■ 



the emissions f 
tion with the le 
munities the vehicle emis 
nificant than the other f 
temporary effects is rele 
desirable alternative. They should be included in the EIS. 
In addition, the analysis of secondary air pollution impact 



294 



does not even consider TSP emissions due to dust from un- 
paved roads, construction, etc. That these effects could be 
significant is illustrated by significant secondary TSP 
effects found in the draft EIS for the Unitah Basin synfuels 
project. Unitah Basin Synfuels Development, Draft Technical 
Report -- Air Quality, 5-87. These effects should be evalu- 
ated, both for the peak construction period, and for the 
permanent increased population after construction is complete 



f the EIS should 
1 effects, 



In sum, the air quality porti 
focus more on describing the overall en 
and comparing those effects for the different alternatives. 
The purpose of the EIS is to allow evaluation and comparison 
of the alternatives from an environmental standpoint, so 
that environmental factors are adequately factored into the 
final decision. The draft EIS falls short of this goal, 
while possible violations of the Clean Air Act are relevant 
and important, other information is also needed. 



IV. The draft EIS shows that the en 
effects of large scale leasing 
are sufficiently serious that a 
with little or no additional le 
selected. 



ing should be 



Notwithstanding the deficiencies discussed above, 
the draft EIS, particularly the air quality portion, demon- 
strates that most of the proposed alternatives will have 
substantial detrimental effects on the environment of the 
region, including the environment of the Fort Peck Indian 



294 



Reservation, 
an alternati 
ably alterna 
development 
Reservation. 



is reason the Tribes urge selection of 
minimal additional coal development, pre 

The Tribes are strongly opposed to any 
racts in Montana south of the Fort Peck 



The air quality supplement to the draft EIS shows 
that every alternative, including alternative 1, will result 
in violations of air quality standards promulgated under the 
Clean Air Act. Moreover, each alternative involving more 
development also increases the number and/or scope of such 
violations — there is a direct trade-off between the scope 
of the leasing and the loss of air quality. Thus preservation 
of air quality requires minimal leasing. 

Alternative 1 violates three Clean "Air Act stan- 
dards: the NAAQS for TSP (24-hour), the PSD Class I standard 
for SO, (24-hour) , and the PSD Class II standard for TSP 
(annual) . Alternative 2 violates these and adds a significant 
impact on visibility of TRNP. Alternative three (with or 
without the Woodson PRLA and Meridian Exchange proposals) 
violates the above standards, plus the PSD Class I standard 
for SO, (3-hour). Alternatives 4, 5 and 6 add violations of 
the PSD Class I standard for SO- (annual). It is clear 



8/ Indeed, alternatives 4, 5 and 6 viola 
Class I standards for SO,. Clearly S0 2 em 
serious environmental problem with this de 



all of the PSD 



294 



that exte 
of these 
pollution 



ve development should 

icipated widespread vi 

_?/ 
ntrol laws. 



10/ 



Furthermore, the proposed leasing project would 
have serious adverse impacts on air quality at the Fort Peck 
Indian Reservation itself. Alternatives 5 and 6 would cause 
violations of PSD Class I standards for S0 2 (24-hour) over a 
wide area of the Reservation. DEIS, page S-27; and figures 
3-7 and 3-10. Under alternative 6 the incremt 
in SO, would reach three times the Class I inc 
addition, although the data and the contour maps are not 
presented in the draft EIS, it appears the increments on the 
Reservation may approach the point of violations within the 
margin of error of the modeling for several other alternative 
In any event, it is clear that all of the alternatives for 
which contour maps are shown (except alternative 1) will 
result in increases in SO, and/or TSP on the Reservation, 
with a resultant degredation of the air quality of the 



_!/ 


The potential violations of the Clean Air Act may 
more extensive; the draft EIS does not adequately 
nent them; see part II above. 


be 


10/ 


The Fort Peck Indian Reservation is not yet desig 
Class I area, but such designation is under currei 
ideration and the Tribes expect it will be so desic 


at 

t 



ated shortly. 



2-67 



The draft EIS also discus 
impacts on the Fort Peck Reservatio 
will be serious. While most of the 
destruction of wildlife habitat in i 



other significant. 

Impacts on wildlife 
impacts result from 
near the proposed 



mining sites. Fort Peck will be affected. Migratory wild- 
life and migratory bird habitat will be destroyed; this nay 
have an adverse effect on the wildlife of the Fort Peck 
Reservation. Wildlife on the Reservation will also be 
directly affected by increased hunting and poaching on or 
near the Reservation. In addition the Tribes are concerned 
about possible impacts of the coal development on the fishery 
at Fort Peck Lake. While the lake is not on the Reserva- 
tion, it is close, and is an important source of recreation 
for many tribal members . 

The economic and social impact of a large influx 
of workers to the area also gravely concerns the Tribes. 
Wolf Point, a community which is expected to bear a portion 
of the influx if the Montana sites are developed, is the 
largest population center on the Reservation. The influx 
would strain available resources, quite probably at the 
expense of the Indians and other long time residents. The 
draft EIS indicates (in Appendix H, page SA-11) that Roose- 
velt County's population is expected to increase by as much 
as A percent under some alternatives. Essentially all of 
that growth will be in communities like Wolf Point, Poplar, 



and Brockton, which ar 
Peck Reservation, wher 



the southern boundary of the For 
st tribal members reside. 



The draft EIS convinces the Tribes that the en- 
al consequences, to the region and the Reservation, 
are not worth the potential benefits from the development of 
these resources. The Tribes urge that a minimal development 
alternative, preferably alternative 1, be adopted. The 
Tribes strongly oppose extensive coal leasing, especially of 
the tracts in Montana. 

Respectfully submitted. 



David Johnson 

Office of Environmenta 
Protection 

Assiniboine and Sioux 
Tribes of the Fort 
Peck Reservation 

P.O. Box 506 

Poplar, Montana 59255 



October 18, 1982 



Reid Peyton Chambers 
Kevin A. Griffin 
SONOSKY, CHAMBERS, SACHSE 
1050 31st Street, N.W. 
Washington, D.C. 20007 
(202) 342-9131 

Attorneys fo 




United Slates Department of the Interior 

BUR-0FIAH° MRHA NATIONAL PARK SERVICE 

m OCT 25 W 2*Mhington, d.c. 20210 



•Hssara* 



utl I » 1982 



rtenorandui 



To: Director, Bureau of Land Management 

Through:' Assistant Secretary for Fish and wildlife arxi 
From Director, National Park Service 



Subjei 



NPS Comments on the Fort Union Coal Rasin Draft EIS 



295 



We have reviewed the subject deis to determine the potential effects of 
leasing in the Fort Union Basin on National Park Service units in North 
Dakota. The following comments are submitted for your consideration. 

Air Quality 

As you are aware, the National Park Service recently performed a technical 
analysis to determine whether or not a certification of no adverse impact 
on Theodore Roosevelt National Park and the wilderness portion of Lostwocd 
National Wildlife Refuge should be granted to five proposed sources in North 
Dakota. That analysis showed that the proposed sources would not adversely 
impact the air quality related values of the class 1 areas, even though the 
emissions from the sources would cause or contribute to SO2 concentrations 
which exceed certain maximum allowable increases for the class I areas. 
Therefore, the Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, acting 
as the Federal Land Manager, granted the certifications on September 15, 1982. 

The National Park Service analysis of the impact of the proposed sources was 
thorough and comprehensive, and we recommend that BLM follow a similar method- 
ology in all parts of its air quality analysis for the Fort Union EIS. The 
EIS should recognize that no future major facilities will be able to locate in 
the vicinity of Theodore r.oosevelt National Park as long as increment violations 
persist, absent a variance from the Governor or the President, if the Feaeral 
Land Manager determines that the facility would adversely impact the park. In 
this regard, conclusions reached in the September 15, 1982 certification should 
not be extrapolated to any future permit applications in the vicinity of Theodore 
Roosevelt National Park. Each new applicant mjst demonstrate to the Federal 
Land Manager's satisfaction that the proposed source will not cause or contribute 
to an adverse impact on the resources of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. 

We recommend that the Bureau of Land Management carefully review, and if neces- 
sary revise, its analysis of potential impacts on Theodore Roosevelt National 
Park. For example, we suggest the review examine estimated concentrations 
and potential effects that development of leases could have on vegetation and 



2951 
296 

297 

298 
299 

300 



wildlife in the park. We suggest the review analyze the cumulative impacts on 
the park from existing sources, plus the sources analyzed by the NPS in its 
technical analysis. A cumulative impact analysis includes direct and secondary 
emissions associated with development of proposed coal tracts and associated 
facilities. 



Other 1 



> be addressed are identified below. 



While we recognize the uncertainties involved in predicting the development 
that will ultimately result from leasing decisions, we suggest that modeling 
be performed for worst-case scenarios for both the North and South Units of 
Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and predicted impacts be stated for both unil 

Mine development and/or associated industrial facilities at the Zenith and 
North/South Wibaux-Beech tracts, because of their location, are most likely 
to cause air quality impacts on the South and Elkhorn Ranch Units of Theodore 
Roosevelt National Park. Therefore, we suggest that these tracts be analyzed 
assuming worst-case meteorological conditions for the South Unit, as was done 
for the North Unit of the park. Based on the Service's experience, using the 
same model applied to Theodore Roosevelt National Part in the recent FLM 
certification, we estimate that the additional modeling runs and analyses 
could be performed for less than $20,000, and completed in approximately a 
two week period. 



a result of regional haze concerns i 
only two three-day time periods; (2! 
geographic extent, frequency, and 
ind (3) it used the terms "adverse* 
ly, and apparently without considera- 



sibility reduction 
(1) it was based 
it failed to Include an analysis of 1 
duration of the estimated degradatioi 
and "baseline" ambiguously, i noons ist 

tion of the definitions found in the legislation and applicable reguL 
(see, for example. Tables 3-6 and 3-7). Contrary to the implication of the 
DEIS, visual impact at the threshold of human perception is not necessarily 
adverse. 

We share several of the concerns raised by the North Dakota State Health 
Department on September 27, 1982 particularly those related to the uncer- 
tainties in the emission inventory (Appendix F), the differences between 
the two regional scale models used, and the acid deposition data base. 

Tne discussion of integral vistas in both the DEIS and the air quality 
technical report should be revised. First, the term "integral vista" is 
defined by EPA and should be revised in the DEIS to read: "the view per- 
ceived from within the mandatory class I federal area of a specific landmark 
or panorama located outside the boundary of the mandatory class I area". 
See 40 CFR $51.301(n)(198D... The criteria for identification of integral 
vistas includes, but is not limited to, a determination of "whether the 
integral vistas are important to the visitor's visual experience associated 
with a mandatory class I area". 16. 551.304(a). Second, the EIS should note 
that the regulations identifying integral vistas have not been promulgated. 
As a "major rule" under Executive Order No. 12291, these regulations are 
currently undergoing a Regulatory Dnpact Analysis. Third, both the EIS and 
the technical reports should include a statement explaining that once a 
Federal Land Manager has identified integral vistas, the State is responsible 



2-68 



300 
301 



302 



' quality planning 



303 
304 



for incorporating the integral vistas into the State 
process (specifically the State Implementation Plan). 
State is responsible for making final determinations regarding the degree 
of protection, if any, afforded to integral vistas in the permitting and 
land use planning processes, subject only to the general requirement that 
the State make 'reasonable progress" toward the national visibility goal 
_ specified in Section 169A of the Clean Air Act. 

The DEIS does not contain a complete inventory of vegetation and wildife 
resources for the Fort Union region, nor does it identify the air pollution 
threshold sensitivity levels of the resources. Where possible, we suggest 
the analysis relate predicted air quality concentrations to effects en 
_ sensitive species. 

Members of the Air Quality Division met with your staff and BLM's air quality 
contractor for the EIS in Denver on October 14, 1962 to go over specif i< 
on the draft EIS and the air quality technical reports. Additional technical 
comments may be submitted to you as a result of that meeting. At your request, 
the National Park Service is prepared to provide air quality technical assistance 
to your staff, and to work with your staff in reviewing and making any necessary 
revisions to the Port Union EIS and technical support documents. 

Water Quality 

Two segments of the Missouri River, the first from Square Butte Creek to 
the Oliver/Mercer County line, and the second from the Knife River to the 
Garrison Dam, have been included in the final list of the Nationwide Rivers 
Inventory. Rivers which have been included on this list have been selected 
after consideration of the degree to which the river is free-flowing, the 
degree to which the river and corridor are undeveloped, and the outstanding 
natural and cultural characteristics of the river and its immediate environ- 
ment. While it appears that the segment from the 01 iver /Mercer County line 
to the Knife River was excluded due to mining activities already taxing 
place, we would encourage every possible effort be taken to limit adverse 
downstream impacts to the Square Butte Creek to ol iver /Mercer County line 
segment. 

Recreational Facilities 



We are concerned about projected demand for additional local recreational 
facilities, and impacts to existing facilities which will result from large- 
scale development of leases in the project area. The draft document does not 
appear to address the issue of mitigation of impacts, nor does it discuss any 
alternatives for providing additional facilities to meet the demand illustrated 
in Appendix J. There is ample precedent for project sponsors to provide recrea- 
tional facilities and other assistance to communities in impacted areas. The 
final environmental impact statement should discuss alternatives for mitigation 
measures for impacts to local and State recreational facilities, including 
potential for provision of additional facilities by the project sponsors. 

Historic Preservation 



304 



EIS, "mining at the Warner-Dunn Center Tracts will jeopardize important and 
irreplacable cultural information". Portions of the quarries have been included 
on, and other portions are eligible for inclusion on, the National Register of 
Historic Places. 

The quarries served as an important raw materials source for the prehistoric 
and historic peoples inhabiting the villages new preserved in Knife River 
Indian Villages NHS. The existence of these resources was doubtlessly one 
reason for the establishment of the settlements in the places where they exist. 
Preservation of the quarry sites is important for future research into the 

general. 



prehistory of the Hidatsa, in particular, and the Northern Plaii 
preservation is also important to visitor understanding of 



Villages NHS. 
sory Committee on Hi 
Preservati 
described 



He cultural 

BLM and the 

n Officers 
n the Draft 



ical importance of the Knifi 
project sponsors should consult with the Ad' 
vation and the Montana and North Dakota State H 
to evaluate potential impacts on cultural 
Environmental Impact Statement. 

We appreciate the opportunity to comrcent on this report, and look forward to 
working with you on the EIS and air quality technical report. If you have any 
questions, or if we can be of further assistance, please contact Mary Ann Grasser 
of the Air Quality Division at PTS 234-6419. 



i/i h 



V 



lUd 



^v*r~'] 






UNI TED fiJAT^SietOWttONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 
BU«.0FIM:0H»»* c BW8<.nviii 



Ref: 810 



G3ZH0V 23 "W *"**"- 



. ii". 

Mr. Lloyd Emmons 
Acting Project Manager 
Fort Union Project 
Bureau of Land Management 
P.O. Box 30157 
Billings. Montana 59107 



We have completed our review of your Agency's draft envi 
statement on the proposed leasing on the Fort Union Coal Regi 

i will not reach your office by the October 8 deadline stated 

EIS beca 



lental impact 



■" - -- ■ w"i j^ui vi ■ n.c vj mi ■■''-' u^i o ueoji me ii'iu^j in me 

EIS because we only recently received the "Air Quality Information 
Supplement." Because of EPA's concern and role in air qual Ity management, we 
did not believe we were able to adequately review the EIS until this 
supplement was available. 



He found the draft EIS to be , 
environmental impacts that would n 
and development of power generatioi 



straight-forward discussion of the 
ult from proposed leasing of Federal 
and conversion facilities. 



The environmental 1i 
subs t ant i al . The major 
of soils, and wildlife. 
substantial changes 



pacts from the proposed co. 
ies relate to air quality, 
iven with required ntitigat' 

npacts on these media 



I leasing will be 
iroundwater, reel* 
in there will be 
quality will be 



degraded. Hells will be lost In and around mining areas. Hildlife habitat 
will be destroyed and reclamation of woody draws uncertain. Soils will be 
severely impacted with successful reclamation of agricultural soils remaining 
a question mark. The EIS points all this out. 

It would appear that the major restraint on development and use of the 
coal would be the PSD Class I air quality limitations. According to the Air 
Quality Supplement the increments for TSP and SO2 have already, or are about 
to be consumed. Additional gasification or power generation facilities in 
this area may not be constructed unless alternatives such as emissions, 
offsets or variances were obtained. 



In summary, we believe the EIS points out the major environmental impacts 
that would result from leasing of the coal and also admits there are 
substantial "unknowns" related to some factors. According to EPA's system for 
rating draft impact statements this EIS Is rated EU-2 {environmentally 
unsatisfactory - insufficient information). Based on the coal mines and 
facilities modeled In the EIS, we find the air quality impacts of the 
development described to be unsatisfactory. Under all alternatives there are 
one or more mines which cause exceedances of the ambient total suspended 
particulate {TSP) standard as well as the PSD Class II TSP increments. 
Further, the composite impact of the facilities under each alternative show 
exceedances of the 24-hour sulphur dioxide increment for one or more Class I 
areas. Unless adequate reduction in emissions offsets or waivers are 
obtained, air quality permits for the individual mines (with TSP problems) and 



thosi 



faciliti. 



ilch t 



These detei 
process individual permi 
reservations about the 1 
development, in particul 



■ Cla 



I 



ureedcii 



uld - 



>ns will be made by North Dakota and Montai 
for the mines and facilities. We also ha- 

: of knowledge of some of the Impacts of tl 
as related to air quality and reclamation 



be 



, they 



Several specific comments are found in the attachment. If you havi 
questions please contact Mr. Gene Taylor in our Montana Office in Helei 
FTS 585-5486. 



/^-5t< 
f Re. 



JdZ t/J^ 



al Administrator 



2-69 



305 

306! 

307; 

308 

309 = 
310 
31 1[ 
312 



Page S-2: Last paraqraph , organic compounds should be mentioned. 

Paqe S-8: First column, first paraqraph. " residua l home heating oil?" 

Paqe S-9: Figure 2-5, the arrow opposite "nonattairment areas" should be 
reversed to point upward and the one ooposite "attainment areas" should 
point downward. 

Column 2. paragraph 5, "sufficiently major" - could this be elaborated 
upon so as to make it more clear? 

Page S-11: Column 1, paragraph 1 - should discuss how emissions estimates 
were deri ved. 

- were maximum emission rates used in all 
;xercises? 

Column ; 
isistent 



'age S-39: Column 2 - "Secondary Impacts" section 
rom secondary stationary sources? There would als< 
inpaved roads, road sanding, etc. 



COMMENTS OF 
THE DAKOTA RESOURCE COUNCIL 



FORT UNION DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT 



what about impacts 



Dakota Resource Council 



BISMARCK NORTH DAKOTA Si 



Mr. Lloyd Emmons 
Acting Project Manager 
Fort Union Project 
Bureau of Land Management 
Billings, MT 



Dear Mr. Trnmons 



October 18, 1982 



in geno 


al, we support the direction of the findings of the Draft 


Environments 


Impact Statement, as summarized on page il of the Statement, 


The findings 


point to the fact that severe Impacts to water, agriculture. 




and community services can be expected from ! 


over the 203 


3 million tons needed for production maintenance. 


Hovevei 


we find the DEIS Inadequate In th.it lr omit! ■ . i deration of 


■^orae lmpac Is 


especially rhose which occur away from tin m ; 


site. Also, 


ii fills CO discuss Important air quality impacts in anything 


but the most 




of community 


impacts, nor does it give a full account of gr IwaEi i damage 



At best, the DEIS gives only a partial 
which will occur from new Federal coal leasing, and u in attempt 

to minimize and gloss over the decidedly adverse affect thai coal d< 
will have on the Fort Union Region. Our specific comments follow. 

1) The need for Federal coal leasing above 201.2 million tons has not 
been established which would Justify the subsl mtlal •■■ peeCed. 

Currently, there exists an eight megawatt excess clecCl 

in the region, a soft coal market, and a weakening industry interest in syn- 
thetic fuels. 



mllkely that 



elopm. 



f Che 



313 



314 



Because of these conditions it 
s will take place in the forseeable future. But. far from making u: 
acent about leasing and possible development, the situation only (u: 
uspicions that coal leasing at this time will cesull in speculation 
ubllc's expense. If the coal is not needed now. It should not be li 



rationale for leasing in 
odds with the 1981 Offici 



of 203.2 i 
Technology A^ 



liability of Federal Coal 

Ive m.-inner. The report concluded that adequate 
liable for mining that would last at least fift. 



2) The findings of the Air Quality Suppl 
believe, show that Federal coal teasing is unw 
because development of the tracts would vlolat 
Suspended Particulates, as set by Congress in the C 



ndardi for SO- and 10! al 



314 
315 

316 

317 
318 



the 


i Lass 1 PSD incr. 


nenl Is ci 


Any mc 


,,. 


■ . 


. , 


...,, 


. , ■ | ■ 




ither 1) . 




cisc In ■ 






..i 








i) 


., .,. t cha 


delibc 


i.,i lengc 






.,1 






. . . 


und 






whereby agent ■ ■■ 














■-■i • i, i ..,,-.■, . 


mal .i 


1 ' 
















The Hortl 






ol He i 


th, 


[n 




i to 






ronmenta] 


Protect 


■ ;i;i . .,. 


n s 


udy of P o 


Lul 


on "off-set 




study may 


>li 


■ obtain 




i 


n 






ution level 


and 


thereby c 


.: ■ 1 


om for mon 


■.■I sni . 




r, ii.. 


■ 


pol 


cy change 








it 




,T cha 




any 


considers 


ion for 


Forth. - 


is In order 












3) We find It 


■ ible that 


the ser 


..,,. 


ls 


i 


tox 


hydroi ii b 


rad 






, trace i 


■ 










a< i 




tlon w< 


re given only 11 F 


service 


In 


th 


s doeur 


cnt 


The manne 



negligence on the pari ol Che BLM. We feat chat ch« BLM Is, In effect, 
jl tempt Ing to minimize recognition of thi tl devolopmt 

by noi allot icing the time and effort to study them. As interested 
we are aware of the hazards Ol rynfuel coils Lons, ic Id rain, ind I 

I1H to hove ; ■ Lnl n ifltlon, pursue the issues with dlllgenci 

and we demand a better assessment of these dan eri 



4) 


In 


onlu 


ICt 


on u 


ith point 1 


(above) . 


It appears 


chat whenev 


l 


ll1.ldl'<lll.-| 




scar 


h 


tme 


and f 


imis we 


re .ii Lo< 


atcd 


Co nal 


! a proper a 




minimum 


mpa 


■ 


is .■. 




This i 




nt 1 


i the a 


. .. 


ra.it ion. 


i:r Iul 


er. 


■""' 


.t i 


" 


Inpa 


' 












The 


fac 


is. 




lama 


, . 


. an pi 


oven in 


„m, 


,, Ld i 


,-.,■. ■ .i, i. ii 


the 


Port Unt 


n Region 




n North Dakota, 












from bond, n 


f wl 


i, . 


OOd 


Eh. < 


est ot 


cropping 


yea 


after 


year . Sc lent lfl< 












n thi 






ML: 1 


slve l 


. dace. tad 




DEIS ass 


men 


imi. 




Larat 


: | ■, 


potent 1 


il when 


.tl. 


i,i Lng 


impacts on 






hai 


the 


aw 


■ 




■ ■,! 


be rei i 










conditio 


th 


n 1 1 


W.l 


before m 


■ 


We also 




, thai 


irate ices nr 


not 


always equ.nl 




le 


ntei 


t Of 




. Unt I] 




and expe 


tence 


illustra 


es othpr 


tflse. an 




mptlon 


of lOO'. 


... 1 


, .. [on 


i ... i ii.i. i . i ■ 


ble. 



With t. rater, the report is misleading. It i 

!•■! '■■■■ i .1' . ."I i' !■.•■■ 104, i iii i ■■ '.. leg i ili i ton is not a m; 

Issue becauiie Chi Lmpoi I "wl is llkelj (be I Imlted) to no more thi 
couple of miles distance from a mine." This flndlti 
th.it . "It i^ imporis ible co predict accui itelj how fai iwaj Fron 
degraded water will move...." Again, the Lack of research lends 
iminn Lmpsi t . i ven LI the "■ ouple ol miles" Ls ■ 



t 60-81 
lgnif 1. 



i I,- 



leasing? 



i 



be . 



A third area where Lack ol effori Leads to Lacl ol reeog m 

Imp icta i ■ Ln off-sltc agricultural tmpai I a Wo will |ust rclternti thai 
... and polluted water extend beyon.l ri Iir .it*. These 



2-70 



HORTHERN PLAIMS RESOURCE COUMCIL 



319 



320 









oi 



fund | 



fo 



To ■ 



fn 



Industry has been negotiated. How then can Beach show a surplus of revenue 
within three years of construction start-up — a time when demands on services 
will be the greatest? (graph, page A-18) The gross inaccuracies In these for- 
casts should be corrected. The rosy predictions of long term fiscal surpluses 
for North Dakota communities do not find support in the current realities of 



Finally, we are especially displeased with this document In light 
e and effort we have expended during previous stages of BUI 
g for energy development in this area. We have been asking for thn 
hat off-site agricultural Impacts be examined, that more attention 

to reclamation of land, that alternative sources for energy be 
d, and chat alternative uses of public lands be considered. Ue 
otested the status of the Bedwater Management Frameuord Plan as a 
g document (to the State Director, May 6, 1980). At this late stag' 
still waiting for answers to our legitimate concerns. 



,:/«,,, 



Duane Sebastian 

Chairman, Dakota Resource Council 



Main Office 
419Staplrti.n HulMlnR 
Billing*, MT 59101 
(406) 348-1 1S4 



Field Office 
Box 858 

Helena. MT 59624 
(406) 44;J-4965 



Lloyd Emmons 
Project Manager 
Fort Union Project 
Bureau of Land Management 
222 N. 32nd Street 
P.O. Box 30517 
Billings, MT 59107 



Enclosed please find 
Resource Council (NPRC) on 
Draft Environmental Impact 



NPRC appreciates the opportunity 
Environmental Impact Statement. If yo 
about these comments, please feel free 



October 19 , 1982 



ents of the Northern Pla 
eau of Land Management's 
nt. Fort Union Coal Regi 



Margaret Nelson 
NPRC Staff 
Glendive Office 



\u 



fa ««"* 



,1 (O'V' 1 



Comments of the 

NORTHERN PLAINS RESOURCE COUNCIL 

McCONE AGRICULTURAL PROTECTION 0RGANI2ATI0N 
and the 
DAWSON RESOURCE COUNCIL 

On the 
Bureau of Land Management's 

Draft Environmental Impact Statement 
Fort Union Coal Region 



October 19, 1982 



321 



322 



The Northern Plains Resource Council (NPRCJ and two 
of its affiliates, the McCone Agricultural Protective 
Organization IMAPO) and the Dawson Resource Council (DRC) 
are jointly submitting these written comments on the Draft 
Fort Union Environmental Impact Statement. These comments 
supplement the oral testimony give by affiliate members 
at the September 29 Fort Union Lease Sale Hearing in Clendi 

GENERAL COMMENTS : 

According to the Introduction, "The purpose of this 
analysis is to look at the consequences of leasing and 
development of federal reserves in compliance with the 
federal coal management regulations and NEPA-" (Fort 
Union Coal Region EIS, p. 2.) After reviewing chis draft 
EIS, NPRC has concluded that because the draft contains 



uffi 



pli 



stated purpos 



n I ■:■ 



doe 



This EIS is most 
ncorporate the fo 

management progr 
tely crucial 
oal leasing l 



do t 



riously flawed because it fail 
major principles of the federa 

Thus, information which is al 
rmining the impacts and conseq 1 



Goal number 1 
Abstract of the F 
oal Management Pn 
nd effective enforcement of en 
hat federal coal is committed 
n an environmentally acceptabl 
es and land . 



the Federal Coal Management Program 
1 Environmental Statement Federal 
am, p. 3-2) is "Employ land use planning 



Suction and produced 
;r which is responsible 
affected by development 



The EIS does 



EIS 



help to ensure that development 
sccur in an environmentally acceptable manner. The 
s riddled with unknowns, and cannot be used as a 
basis for informed decision making. In discussing ma^or 
environmental issues - air quality, water quality, agri- 
culture, reclamation - the BLM draws vague conclusions 
based on admittedly incomplete data. Information contained 
in the social and economic sections is equally vague. 
Terms such as "presently not available", "still unclear", 
"not well documented", "impossible to accurately predict", 
are meaningless when trying to determine and understand 
specific impacts. NPRC would appreciate the use of objectiv 
factual information as opposed to the documentation of 



The Coal Program 

common lties and land o 
The BLM absolutely fai 
While the EIS includes 
eglects to discuss 



by f 
outsid. 



supposed to insure that development 
ich is "responsible to local 
rs affected by development." 

in addressing this principle- 
pacts to "all affected landowners". 



the 



ssess impacts to farm/ranch oper 
ing tracts (where landowners rec 
Throughout the planning process 



2-71 



322 



323 



324 



ted 


an a no 


vs 


S 


off- 


•■ -i 


ly 


prom 




tc 


analy 








.hi; 






itana o 


re c 


the 


last 


c c 




lents 


on 


the 


Redwa 



members have continually requcs 

site impacts, and ELM has repea 

those impacts. NPRC members ha 

BLM planning efforts in eastern 

10 years. In response to publi 

MFP, State Oirector Michael Penfold pledged co "insure 

that these issues are adequately addressed in the Fort 

Union Regional Coal EIS" . {Analysis of Oral and Written 

Comments, Redwater Management Framework Plan, March, 1980, 

p. 7.) At the same time, BLM pledged to address issues 

such as the "social-economic impacts of degraded air and 

water quality" in the regional EIS (See p. 4 and responses 

to comments, Redwater HFP Public Comment Analysis.) NPRC 

members worked with BLM in an attempt to find a way to 

address the economic implications of off-site impacts. 

(For documentation of just a few of these efforts, see 

the testimony of Helen Waller at the Glendive Hearing 

on the DEIS on September 29, 19B2, and the correspondence 

attached.) Despite these efforts many of the most important 

questions about the impacts to agriculture are not addressed 

in the EIS. 

The second goal of the Coal Program is to "Assure 
that sufficient quantities are leased to meet energy needs." 
( Abstract p. 3-2.) Secretary Watt's goal, to lease 800 
mm - 1.2 billion tons, goes way beyond meeting energy 
needs. This leasing level appears to be an over-zealous 
attempt to reduce the federal deficit. There is absolutely 
no need to lease this coal. Currently, over 16 billion 
tons of federally leased coal reserves are not being developed, 
mostly due to lack of demand. Major energy development 
projects - WPPSS, Exxon's Colony Oil Shale Project, WyCoal 
Gas in Wyoming - are floundering or cancelled. Competition 
has been absent from recent coal lease and oil lease sales. 
In the Fort Union lease sale, industries have withdrawn 
their expressions of interest. Generally, demand for 
electricity has decreased and is expected to fall more 
as prices increase. More natural gas reserves exist than 
previously thought and these reserves contain more gas 
than ever anticipated. Alte 
being developed. 



t-.jy 



that 


federa 


L coal 


is pr 




ed in an e 




nicall 


/ efficie 


mann 


2r with 


a far 


econo 


mics 


1 return t< 


) the U.S. 


for all 


coal 


produced. " 


(Abstr 


act 


p. 3-2.) 


As 


*e hav 


e already 




jd,no n 


:ed fc 




i .2 a = 




Overlea 


sing will 


draw 


only m 


iniTun 


bids 


tor 


tne coal. 


The 


publi 


c will 


not 


receive 


a fai 


r retu 


rn . 


The proposed 


,aie w 


ill not 


bene 






, but 


rfl | 


rather feathe 


- the 






peculat 


3rs . 


In the 


rec 


ent Powder 


Fiv 


>r anc 




sale 


s, most 


tract 


s were 


lee 


sed in the 


aba 


;nce o 


f compc-ti 


with 


some t 


-acts 


receiv 


inq 


no bids at 


a! ] 


In 


light of 


thes 


£ recen 


- pub] 


ic giv 




ays and the fa 


-t tha 


t several 


indu 


stries 


lave w 


ithdra 


--n 


■ 


t he 


Fort 


Union tra 


how 


=an BLM 


DOS SI 


bly expect 


a Eau return 


on th 


is propos 



325 



326 



The fourth goal of the Coal Program is to "Emphasize 
consultation and cooperation with state governments in 
the planning, leasing, and development of federal coal." 
This goal was clearly undermined during the process of 
setting the leasing target for the Ft. Union sale. The 
Secretary of the Interior blantqntly ignored the Regional 
Coal Team's (RCT's) unanimous recommendation to lease 
400-800 million tons of coal by nearly doubling the target. 
The Secretary has also adopted new rules against the wishes 
of the western states. Secretary Watt has made it abundantly 
clear that the federal coal leasing decisions will be 
made on the banks of the Potomac; that the public's solicited 
opinions and the RCT's consultations are insignificant 

BLM has not provided the public with an opportunity 
to comment on the final application of the unsuitability 
criteria on tracts that will be offered for lease. Such 
an opportunity is required by 3461 . 3-1 ib) II) of the Federal 
Coal Management Regulations, 



NPRC resei 
ients up urn 
idered and 



MB DUALITY 



ves its right under NEPA to submit further 
ll November 8, and to have those comments 
responded to in the Final EIS, as requested 
f October 1, 1982. 



Thi 



sly 



complete because it 

the adverse impact 

on shows that synfu 



327 



328 



fails to analyze collected da 

of air pollution. BLM docume 

development will result in ac 

genie organic compounds, toxic metals, radioactive element 

all of which will contaminate both our precious air and 

water resources. In spite of this documentation, BLM 

concludes "current information does not enable prediction 

effects of these pollutants." (Air Quality Information 
Supplmental to the Fort Union Coal Region DEIS, pr S-44 . ) 
:'\:ch conclusions are inexcusable, irresponsible and in 
violation of both NEPA regulations and the Federal Coal 
Management Program. 

Acid Precipitation 



While the EIS affi 



lis 



ind 



and damage to many aspact 
plemontal, p. S-35.) , it 
will specifically affect 
other impacted regions . 



; that "acidic precipitatio 

; of the biosphere" (DEIS S 
rails to tell us how acid r 
ihe Fort Union Region and/o 



328 



EIS states that sand} 




Is would be 


particularly 


sensitive to increased aci 


di tj 


(DEIS S 


jpplemental , 


p. S-36.) What does this 


neat 


? Will the 


soils become 


acidic? Will soil fail tc 


De 


agricultura 


ly productive 


after x amount of years? 


The 


EIS downplays thi 


of acid rain in the immedi 


it e 


' y of 


the Fort Unior 


Region claiming that becai 


se ' 


the soils tend to be alko 


they will possess a "grea' 


er c 


apacity to 


neutralize acit 


IDEIS Supplemental, p. S-36.) 


The soils will only be 


able to tolerate so much. 


whi 


n is "great 


;r capacity" e 


What is the saturation po 


nt? 


When will 




irreparable damage to the 


soil 


s? 




According to the EIS 


acid rain will 


vo ge t a 


effects are not 


"eat 


ily quantif 


table." iDtlS 


Supplemental, p. S-7.) lit 


.ice , 


"there is 


to clear conse 


as to the potential impac 


O! 


acid precip 


itation to cro 



(DEIS Supplemental, p. S-8.) 
not acceptable. What data is 
BLM states sulfur dioxide is 
crop yield." (DEIS Supplemcn 
of loss? Will effects of sul 
loss than effects of sulfur d 



available? In the appendix, 

know*< to cause a loss of 

al, p. S-45.) What percentage 

uric acid cause a greater 

oxide? 



The EIS states 

ild up over a per 
S-36. ) It conti 



"Acidi 



tions produced 
and nitrogen oxides emissions 
me." (DEIS Supplemental, 
ing "In the modeling study, 
the conversion was linear over time for a period Lasting 
up to 48 hours of pollutant release and dispersion. lol- 
lutant residence times in the Fort Union Coal region trcbably 
range up to four days. Consequently, the design of trc 
modeling program could not determine maximum possible 
sulfate concentration levels from which acid deposition 
rates can be inferred." (DEIS Supplemental, p. s-36.) 
Why didn't BLM base the modeling study on four days instead 
of 48 hours? If the modeling study had been adequate, 



aid 



lev 



hav 



bee 



The EIS assumes that "there is little 
over direct health effects from acid depo< 
Supplemental, p. S-7.) Isn't it possible 
and more gasification and liquefaction pl< 
SO, and NO. that increased quantities and 
centrations of sulfuric and nitric acid cc 
affect human health? 



The EIS 



s the possibly 
contamination of edible fish w 
tion of drinking water by heavy 
tal, p. S-7.), but adds that'ev 
these concerns apparently is i 
(DEIS Supplemental, p. S-7.) NPRC is co 
quality. Is there any ongoing research 



ndi 



effect 



cause for cone 
tion." (DEIS 
hat with more 
ts producing 
ncreased con- 
Id directly 

ect health 

mercury and 
tals" (DEIS 



328 



The EIS 
to significan 
Coal Region. " 



329 



330 



331 



udy does not pi 
rain in the Fo: 
. S-36.) Are you 



Mm 



tates "the modeling si 
production of acidic 
(DEIS Supplemental, j 
interring no "significant" production, no "significant 
impact? Would you define "significant"? More importai 
would you indicate if acid rain produced in this regioi 
will adversely impact this or any other region and doo 
what the impact would be? Facts are useful; vague gem 



Trace Pollutants 
Organic Compounds 

Because not all organic compounds have been identified, 
several known compounds are carcinogenic or have been 
linked to other health problems, and because ambient levels 
have not been identified, the BLM suggests these compounds 
should be "more critically evaluated." (DEIS Supplemental, 
p. S-37.) NPRC agrees with and appreciates BLM's suggestion. 
Will BLM and other government or private agencies be conducting 
further studies? What is the status of the EPA study 
on organic compounds? When will this information be completed 
and ready for circulation? Will there be another DEIS 
on air quality before coal is leased, so the public can 
evaluate the impacts as stipulated by NEPA? Isn't putting 
qZC the evaluation of organic compounds until specific 
coal conversion projects are proposed, passing the buck 
and violating the Council on Envi ronmentul Quality'3 regulation 
for implementing NEPAi 



Metals and other Particulate 



Lla 



le organic compound discussion 
that many particulates are toxic and that mo 
necessary to determine how trace metals wil 
environment. The EIS is supposed to analyz 
suggest that data be analyzed. 

loactive Elements 



Radioactive elem 
but since they are pr 
BLM assures us that " 



alth hazard" 



exl i 



sly 



"radioactive impacts of energy develop- 
ment in that area would be very low," (DEIS Supplemental, 
pp. S-38, S-39.) In drawing this conclusion, BLM relied 
upon the West-Central North Dakota Regional Environmental 
Impact Study on Energy Development (1978). The study 
only encompassed a one-year period. Radioactive elements 
would be emitted during the entire life of a plant. Since 



[ i.j. 



BLM Jr 



for increased 
during the life of the facility, 
elusion of "very low impact" witnou 
plemental, p. S-38.) 



2-72 



332 



333 



Effect 



Wat 



Quality 



BLH states that "air pollutants 
water quality", but that information 
affects is "presently not available." 
p. S-4.) In spite of the lack of inf 
that "indirect effects of the project 
resulting from air pollution will lik 
IDEIS Supplemcncal, p. S-41.) This s 
with data collected by the North Dako 
licalth which found "the buffet inu cap 
will eventually be consumed and ell lo 
to the point that would indicate seri 
Supplemental, p. S-36.) Why does the 
data? This is unacceptable- 



indi 


rectly affect 




ng these 


DEIS 


Supplemental, 


ation 


, BLM conclude 


wate 


i quality 


be i 


nsigmf icant. " 




■ 


Depac 


tment of 


ty [C 


E water] 



Modeli 



Results 



and Fote 



a I Adv 



In the assessment of ambient pollutant conce 
the standards for ambient 24-hour average TSP con 
in both Montana and North Dakota, as well as the 
secondary standards, are exceeded in all the alte 
In addition, the North Dakota and federal seconda 
increment is almost consumed. 



In the assessm 
some of the PSD Cla 
and particulate inc 
of the alternative 
on future Industrie 
North Dakota increm 



Dt 



end 



.i! t 



remental pollutant 
ards for both sulfur dioxidt 
e exceeded in some or all 
onstraints might this put 
to locate near where the 
rly consumed? How can BLM 



of fede 



al and 



ill 
laws 



suit 
This 



ola 



EIS. 



During the initial reading of t 
mental, NPRC was impressed with BLM - 
evaluate only the worst case situations. Examining worst 
case scenarios would limit the possibility of "surprises- 
later. While these questions should be addressed, NPRC 
is most concerned with the fact that worst case scenarios 
were not actually addressed. The modeling studies represent 
the worst case impacts for the Theodore Roosevelt National 
Park (TRNP) and only TRNP. Because each alternative cor.sift 
of different facilities in different locations, the emission 
and emission dispersion will differ. Thus, there could 
be worse air quality impacts than BLM calculates. 
upon studying the limitations of the Modeling Studies, 
we wondered if the many constraints of this study precluded 
the BLM from arriving at any substantive or justifiable 



333 



334 



For example, the DEIS states that: 

"Both the MESOPUFF and CDMQU models have been 
used in various air quality modeling studies involv 
coal resources development. However, they have not 
been thoroughly validated for such assessments." 
(DEIS Supplemental, p. S-15.) 



uitablc for 
ons are sparse 
ental, p. 



"The quality and quality of data 
use to establish background concentrat 
spotty, and incomplete." (DEIS Supple 
S-15. ) 

"Air pollution characteristics arc 
mined by meteorological conditions . . . 
logical scenario that is worst for one g 
area may or may not be worst for another 
(DEIS Supplemental, pp. S-15, S-16.) 



"The 1964 meteorological data, while the best 
are none too good for air quality modeling purposes 
IDEIS Supplemental, p. s-16.) 



"This sparcity of me 
accuracy and reliability 
modeling." (DEIS Supplem 



"The model 
as to the numbe 
well as the tim. 
(DEIS Supplemental 



eorological data limits the 
f results obtainable by 
ntal, p. S-16.) 



nd length of 
nd cost cons 
S-16.) 



"The mathematical models employed in the study 
have their own limitations." (DEIS Supplemental, 
p. S-16.) 

How do each of these constraints affec 
percentage of error can we expect due 
constraints? How would this study hav 
had time and money not been factors? 



The Fort Union DEIS fails to adequately assess impacts 
to water quality and water availability. 

The EIS acknowledges that nuar open mine pits, groundw 
from surrounding areas will be disrupted, but states that 
disruption will be limited to "about a mile." (DEIS, 
p. 103.) "About a mile" is vague and makes it difficult 
to assess off-site impacts. Furthermore, the EIS States 
that "water levels in the spoil and the undisturbed sur- 
rounding area will return to approximate premining condi- 
tions." (DEIS, p. 103.) Water veins often lie within 





the coal seams. When aquifers are destroyed, water veins 




which have been established for thousands of years, are 




destroyed. How can BLM be certain that the water levels 




will return to "premining" conditions? What is the basis 




for this statement.' What studies or real-life examples 




support it? 




The EIS states "mining may cause changes in the chemical 




quality of the local groundwater" (DEIS, p. 103.) and 




says "it is impossible to predict accurately how far away 




from a mined area degraded water will move." (DEIS, p. 




104.) Degraded water poses an adverse, and potentially 




devastating effect on livestock, crops, farms and ranches. 




BLM should more closely assess the effects of water degradation 


334 


on productivity and the local economy. 


k^ t^ « 


What is the "sufficient impermeable material" which 




will prevent degradation of the lower aquifers? (DEIS, 




p. 104. J Is it possible that lower aquifers will not 




be protected? 




Gasification plants will produce hazardous materials. 




The EIS mentions these wastes will either be burned or 




buried. What will be the effect on surface and ground- 




water quality in the event the burial sites are not fool- 




proof? Synfuels' developers have publicly advocated dis- 




posal of wastes in mine pits, which could result in serious 




water contamination. What consequences do leaching problems 




pose to human health? What means are available to prevent 




leaching? What volume of hazardous wastes will be produced? 




Where will the organic wastes be marketed? 




AGRICULTURE 




The EIS assumes that "Post mininq use would be the 




same as premining use." (DEIS, P. 41.) Where is the 




data which leads to this conclusion? No instance exists 




in the Great Plains where mined land has been reclaimed 




to its former productivity. No reclamation bonds have 




been released in Montana. Even if bonds are released 




in the near future, the "reclaimed" land has not yet stood 




the test of time. Efforts that appear successful after 


o *■> ^ 


5-10 years, may well fail 20-40 years later, after a re- 


^ TT 


presentative exposure to the harsh seasonal fluctuations 


*JhJ*J 


and unpredictable weather cycles well documented in this 




region. In addition, soils in the Montana tracts with 




poor reclamation potential range from 17% of the acreage 




in the Bloomfield tract to 62% of the acreage in the Burns 




Creek tract. Since soils with good reclamation potential 




have not been returned to prior usage, how can BLM expect 




that soils with poor reclamation potential will even approach 




original usage? BLM not only asserts that original usage 




will be restored, but that "productivity should even improve." 


-8- 



335 
336 

337 



338 



(DEIS, p. 108.) I 


n the face of existing know 


ledge a 


id 


the 




lack 


of long t« 


rm information on 


reel am 




this 


stateme 


it is 


unfounded 












NPRC is 


also 


concerned 


with the 


reclamat 


ion of 


wp 


and 


rfoody dr 


1WS. 


In the wildlife section, BL 


M state 


s 


"the 


'e i s debate o 


n whether 


reclamat 


on of we 


t lands 


i ., 


poss 


ble." 


:deis, 


p. 123.) 


BLM als< 


) states 


that "r 




of woody dra 


*s has 


not been 


achieved 


(DEIS 


, p. 12 


4. 


How can BLM 




ly conclude that r« 


clamatio 


n effor 


ts 



rn the land 






In the "Land Disburbance and Production Losses" sec 
BLM equates the land taken out for mining with the land 
removed from production during summer fallow. How is 
this relevant? Mining operations rob the land of its 
characteristics and can destroy its water supply. Summe 
fallow replenishes the land and renews its productivity. 



In the "Economj 
BLM figures that the 
by approximately li 



c Influ 



\gr 



ultural Operat ions 
uld be reduced 

of the "affected 



to 15 years." 

ation is not completely 

nomic loss of land 

Second, BLM also 

be compensated finan- 



the combined v 
Tie. BLM undere 
loss in three respects. First, BLM a 
techniques will restore premining usa 
improved) productivity levels within ' 
(DEIS, p. 89.) What happens if recla 
successful'? Can BLM estimate the ec 
permanently removed from production? 
assumes that farm/ranch operators can 
cially - that money will mitigate dam 
it is not feasible to compensate landowners (e.g. for 
unforeseen losses in groundwater). It is also important 
to point out that in many cases, no amount of money can 
mitigate the damage. Lifestyle rewards cannot be measure 
in monetary terms. Third, BLM entirely ignores an assess 
ment of the off-site economic impacts to agriculture. 
Without this assessment, BLM cannot even guess the reduct 
of gross farm income. Since the initial planning stages 
of this proposed lease sale, NPRC has continually been 

analysis would be included. Thi 
is crucial in determining the economic impact 
the agricultural sector, but to the Fort Umo 
a whole. Why has this analysis been omitted? 

BLM not only underestimates, but miscalculates the 

ilysis compares agricultural income 
foregone (on the tract; with royalties or other measure-" 
ments of the value of mined coal. In this analysis (and 
other BLM analyses) , the present value of potentially 
affected future agricultural income is used for comparati 
purposes - 



red that an off-site 

rmatu 

only 



2-73 



338 



339 





The 


an 


ilysis 


is faulty fo 


th*» 


best 








re of t 


-„l 


tural 




ratior 


is the valu 


ass 




ot 


discounted 


yearly 








able 


a farm 


in 


a spe< 


if 


lc par. 


el o 


land a 



of that parcel. It is not liqu 
be compared on a discounted cash-£l 
analysis in the EIS should, thereto 
of leasing and development on the v 
ment, and not just on foregone inco 



r several reasons. Fust, 
he worth of land to an agr 
e c i the land itself aid 
income. Agricultural oper 
er's capital is tied up 
nd equipment suited to oper 



a] . 



LJ1J 



income basis. The 

focus on the effect 
e of land and equip- 



potcntially increased 
rship patterns and divi 



production costs on unmined por 
due to disruption of logical ow; 
of logical farming and ranching units. 

Third, the purely economic analysis is not consistent 
with the principles of multiple-use and sustained yield 
as defined in the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, 
which is supposed to govern BLM decision-making. Since 
the Redwater MFP did not include a multiple-use analysis 
of the impacts of leasing on agriculture, it would be 
appropriate for BLM to include such an analysis in the 
EIS. The economic analysis presented here does not accomp 
this purpose. 



The proof that 
in the result of the 

the prediction that 



analytical 



aulty li 



of production at the conclusion of mining. 

What farmers or ranchers known to BLM have resum 
production en mined land in the Northern Great Plains 
The prediction of the economic model does not square 
reality. Farmers and ranchers typically sell to mini 
companies and l eave , if a substantial portion of thoi 
operation is affected. 

OTHER LAND USES AND VALUES 



BLM's traffic analy 
impact. BLM f 



does not reflect the true 
impacts to county and to 1 
ds, by assuming all employees will travel on main 
BLM underestimates the traffic flow by only calculati 
employee commuting. They neglect to include traffic 
with the mining operation or the increased traffic fr 
indirect population influx. The traffic analysis tab 
have limited use. IDEIS, p. 131-133. J They do not a 



339 



340 



341 



traf 
loca 
road 

dents 


tant questions such 
ic /tonnage cause t 
people expect in c 
systems? How will 
? what will be the 


as what damage will increasec 

rder to maintain and improve 
local communities levy increa 
percent increase of traffic 


ECONOMIC CONDITIONS 




HE 


While we see a more 

major consideration 
mic impact to local 


thorough review of economic 
ements, the DEIS incorrectly 
s and, thus, underestimates t 


The economic analys 
that synfuel constructic 
is a ridiculous assumpti 
rates and due diligence 
lopment" assumption res 
the workforce pcpulatior 


is is based on the assumption 
n will occur in stages. This 
on when one considers interes 
stipulations. This "phased d 
ults in an underestimation of 


Using a gravity moc 
have underestimated the 
estimated it in others. 
population distribution 
a model which considers 
services, recreation, re 
schcols) of cities with] 


el to distribute population m 
population in some towns and 

could have been obtained by u 
the attractiveness (i.e. soci 
tail outlets, medical facilit 
n or near the impacted region 



Communities will face "severe public service funding 
problems" (DEIS, p. 139.) according to BLM's net fiscal 
balance forecasts. Unfortunately, it appears these already 
drastic deficits are underestimated. According to the 
EIS, the net fiscal balance compares forecasted revenues 
(e.g. property taxes, federal revenue sharing grants, 
highway funds, etc.) with forecasted expenditures (e.g. 
police and fire, public service maintenance and expenditure, 
debt service, etc.) to arrive at a yearly balance. It 
appears that two of the most expensive county expenditures - 
schools and roads - are not included in this fiscal analysis. 
Is that the case? If so, what additional fiscal deficits 
can local taxpayers expect to face? In light of the fact 
that many federal programs have been slashed, when will 
communities obtain the monies to expand their services.' 
How will they deal with funding lags? Will companies 
be required to provide front-end money as a condition 
of their leases? NPRC urges that BLM include lease stipulate 
requiring agreement in mitigation between lessees and 
local governments. 

"SOCIAL CONDITIONS 



341 
342 



concern. The DEIS states "wl 
irae and other problem behavio: 
owth in population in these c< 
te of crime in any area may r< 

147.) Where is the data to support this conclusion 
at energy growth community has maintained a stable r 



increase \Jrth the 
ies, the overall 
table." (DEIS, 



The DEIS fails 
will happen if 
ard? What happe 



o address the "bust" possibli 
planned Cor facility does no 
s if industry pulls out while 





N."|. i'l LI- V i 1 \l>i REM. 1 l-( t CC I ■>( IL 


m, .,, FixldDinct hwUOIk* 


O.-.X'vS Bo.SM'i 


Biilxujj MTS'yiDI H.'.n, Glcndiw Ml .'M'.d 


|4M») J4.1 4W»5 WOil 365-252'i 


July 7, 1981 


Mr. Michael Penfold 


State Director 


Bureau of Land Management 


P.O. Box 30157 


Billings, Montana S9101 


Dear Mr. Penfold: 


The purpose of this letter is to follow up our discussion 


at the Fort Union Regional Coal Team public meeting in Miles 


City in May, concerning the assessment of off-site impacts duiing 


activity planning. Dave Darby of your staff and John Smillie 


of NPRC's staff met briefly on this question last month, per 


your request, and agreed that the best course of action was 


for NPRC to detail our suggestions in writing. 


I also want to briefly discuss the subject of diligent 


development regulations. 


Let me begin by saying that it is somewhat frustrating to 


me that our specific concerns about what off-site impacts should 


be considered, and how they should be analyzed, were not yet clear 


to you prior to the May meeting in Miles City. Measurement of 


off-site impacts in economic terms will be difficult if not impossibl , 


given the time remaining before the Fort Union lease sale. 


Had the necessary data and inventory collection, literature 


searches, scientific research, and economic analysis been 


initiated at the outset of the activity planning process, or 


(better) during land use planning — as MAPO and NPRC have been 


advocating for at least the past five years--this problem 


would not have occurred. 


I would, therefore, like to document some of our previous 


attempts to raise the issue of economic impacts of leasing 


decisions on agricultural operators both off-site and on-site. 


Since 1975, we have attempted to participate in and 


influence BLM land use planning decisions in the Fort Union 


area. One of our most important recommendations has been that 


agricultural resources be inventoried throughout the planning 


area, early in the process. This would have provided the basis 


for on-site and off-site impact analysis. 


Our recommendation was rejected, repeatedly. Instead, the 


RCT now finds itself in the position of having to scramble 


to complete an agricultural resources inventory for just the 


tract delineation areas; and it is not clear to us whether 


the level of detail of this inventory is adequate. We mide 


our recommendation on dozens of occasions, up to and including 


our comments on the Redwater MFP, and in our protest o: /our decision 



2-74 



to CO 



MFP de 



I 



ample 



inclosed 
■f those 



■ 
f forts 



r to Frank Gregg, dated March 26, 1979, 

protest of the MFP, for another example 
peatedly, in response, that the economic 
g on agricultural surf ace--whcther 



You may refer to my 1 
which was appended to 

blm has assured u 
impacts of federal leasin 
federal or non-federal, o 
in activity planning. Ou 
you became State Directo 
concerns would be address 
we would have an influenc 
be done. 

In testimony on the Redwater MFP, MAPO and other MPRC 
made extensive, specific comments on the necessary studie 
For example, I said in my testimony: 



ng our meeting with you shor 
you assured us that all of 
in this stage of planning, 

on the types of studies that 



iy 



My deepest concern... is not that my land will be 
stripmined. I have here a refusal to consent to 
stripmining, which the Surface Mining and Reclamatio 
Act allows. This will be delivered to the BLM in du 
time. What I am most concerned about is the fact 
that if federal coal is recommended for a lease sale 
permitting the coal to be stripmined, land will be 
turned upside down, synfuels plants and gasit. 
plants and power plants will be built, railroads 
and transmission lines will cross our property, 
water supplies will be diminished or destroyed 
and the remainder of our crop and grassland will 
be polluted to the point of questionable economic 
viability. 

BLM's official response indicates that an economic 
sessment of the types of impacts I mentioned would be 
nducted; "It is beyond the scope of the MFP to assess 
1 of the problems adequately at this time. . . fthey]) are 
ems to be addressed site specifically as well as on a 



I have enclosed (again) a copy of the "later list" 
compiled by NPRC detailing the studies promised for the 
activity planning phase. I suggest that you refer to the 
testimony given on the Redwater MFP, and BLM's responses 
to and analysis of that testimony, to get an idea of just 
exactly how much work BLM pledged to conduct. 

At page four of that analysis of the testimony on 
the Redwater MFP, BLM stated: 



Social and econonm 
tm testimony^ as . 
closely related co 



Ea 



nalysis i 
plan el 
jlture i 
ately be 






of degraded 



planning env 



al 



i Empha; 



Additionally, you wrote in concurrin 

approve the MFP, "I am aware of the i 

about agricultural impacts, social-economic consideration 

reclaimability and data adequacy and will attempt to insu 

that these issues are adequately addressed in the Fort Un 

Regional Coal EIS. " 






ending 
towards the 
. At the first 
et up the econo: 
ed the staff 



suggr? 



Because of BLM's repeate< 
RCT meetings and work group i 

types of analyses which we had been requestin 
RCT meeting, we were asked to help the staff 
analysis of impacts to agriculture. We direc 
to the testimony on the Redwater MFP, and the 
had then requested. We aljo sent detailed co 
the draft of the Economic contract. (Please 
attached copy of those comments. You will see that the 

are quite specific with regard to the j 

off-site impacts to agriculture.) 

Since I sent that letter, one full year ago, the project 
staff has determined that agricultural impact studies would 
not be contracted out, out would be done by the staff themselves 
We have received no reply to the letter, so we have had 
no indication whether or net our suggestions would be follow.-!. 
However, the analysis of economic impacts to agriculture 
was discussed at the .7CT meeting in February. By then, 
the analysis had been pared down to include only on-site 
impacts, and even th 
removed from product 

At t.ie February meeting, you requested that project sta 
discuss their proposed ranch budget model analysis of agric 
impacts with the agricultural work group. The staff howeve 
convened the Social and Economic Work Group to discuss the 
proposal. In any case, I attended that meeting of the work 
group, and I reiterated our position that off-site impacts 
must be considered in the economic analysis. I was told 
that there was not enough data, time, or money to conduct 
the analysis we had suggested. 



at only 



rha 



ing 



that many of our most important 
addressed in the EIS given the 
wrote a letter (dated April 13) 
at the April meeting. The staf 



that 



rns c ould not be aJequ 
nd money available. I 
e RCT, which was discu 
red the RCT that most 







mi . Michael e 
July 7, 196 1 

of the studies on the "later list" would oe conducted, with 
the exception of some hydrological information and alluvial 
valley floor information. 

The hydrological information, however, is probably the 
most critical data to the measurement of off-site impacts. 
It is vital to determining the impacts of stripmining, and 
of the storage of toxic solid wastes. A major component 
of off-site impact analysis will, therefore, be missing. 

Even more importantly, the staff did not indicate to 
the RCT that off-site impact analysis would figure in the 
economic analysis of impacts to aqriculture. This is the 




critical issue. As I said in my April 13 letter, the model 
may be satisfactory, as far as it goes, but the validity of 
the model is not the central issue. I wrote: 

The greatest problem with the proposed analysis of the 
impact of leasing on agricultural operations is 
that it completely leaves out off-site impacts. The 
economic analysis will therefore be misleading, and 
it will understate the impacts to agriculture. 

The chronology of our efforts to secure a thorough 
analysis of the economic impacts of Federal leasing decisions' 
on agricultural operators (both on-site and off-sitel, which 
I have briefly outlined above, has been filled with frustration. 
I am therefore skeptical as to whether or not the RCT will 
be able to conduct the analyses that we think are necessary, 
and that have been promised to us over the past two years. 

Despite my skepticism, I will list the most important 
off-site impacts to agriculture, as you requested. The impcitant 
thing is that the economic costs of these impacts be measun 


and included in the economic impacts analysis in the SSA's, 
PFER'c and in the regional EIS. I will be glad to go into 
more detail (if it is requested) as to how the economic impacts 
may be measured for any of the off-site impacts which the 
project staff plans to evaluate on an economic basis. 

WATER QUALITY AND QUANTITY : It is an established fact that strip- 
mining results in degradation of the quality of groundwater and 
surface water, fluctuations in groundwater quantity, and often 
the destruction of aquifers, outside as well as inside the 
mining site itself. These impacts are often permanent, not 
temporary. Storage of the extremely hazardous and toxic waste 
byproducts of coal conversion processes poses an additional 
threat to hudrological resources vital to farm and ranch profitabi 
Hydrologic data and analysis must be sufficient to determine the 
productivity lost or diminished on and around each tract, for 
each affected farm or ranch, due to groundwater disruption, 
degradation, or destruction. 



Mr. Michael Penfold, page five 




July 7, 1981 




AIR QUALITY: The analysis should project likely crop yield 




losses, grass production losses, and livestock weight gain 




losses attributable to the various air pollutants (regulated 




and unregulated) emitted by synthetic fuels plants and power 




plants. 




RIGHTS OF WAY: Landowners off-site may be condemned for powerline; 




rail spurs, pipelines, and the like. The effect of these rights 




of way taken out of production from logical farm and .ranch operate 


ns. 


the increased operating costs, the diminished land values, as 




well as simple acreage losses, should be included m the economic 




analysis. 




FACTOR COMPETITION: The effect of energy industrialization 




on the labor market, the cost of living, the price of land. 




and other factors which contribute to generally increased costs 




to farmers and ranchers should be analyzed and quantified in 




the economic analysis. 




I would like to reiterate what I said a year ago in 




my letter to Loren Cabe. I recognize that prediction of 




(for example) the impact of disrupted aquifers on farm or 




ranch profitability is more complicated than predicting the 




increased county-wide income from a given population increase 




and increased payroll due to construction and operation of 




a major facility. However, an economic analysis which 




ignores serious costs to agriculture simply because those 




costs are difficult to measure with precision will be little 








It is regrettable that it has taken so long to clearl ■/ 




identify the scope of analysis of agricultural impacts which 




we believe are necessary. Quite frankly, I do not think 




that NPRC or its members bear the responsibility for the 




amount of time that has elapsed with this issue unresolved. 




given our efforts to resolve this issue as I have outlined 




them here. 




I would like to turn briefly to the issue of due diligence 




regulations. The retention of existing diligence requirements 




is absolutely critical to the integrity of the coal leasing 




process. Even with the existing requirements, we are concerned 




that the coal lease target recommended at the last RCT meetn -, 




may invite private speculation with publically owned resources. 




Without diligence requirements at least as stringent as pre 




regulations, such speculation would be a certainty. Diligent 




development requirements, then, are a necessity if the Federal 




Coal Management Program is not to be completely undermined. 





2-75 



Union Regi 



erefore greatly encourageu" to learn that the Fort 
al Coal Team had decided to condition its coal 
recommendation to the Secretary of the Interior 
the retention of existing due diligence requirements. 
If the Regional Coal Team's letter transmitting its 

ion to the Secretary has been sunt, we would apprec 
receiving a copy. If it is being dratted, we would very mucn 
like to assist in developing the language concerning the 

[ainst weakening of diligence requirements. 



hank you for the opport , 
[filiates, and other individuals 

to participate in the planning 
s we have expressed here can 

we can be of any further 
ving these concerns, please 



In closing, I would like 
you have provided for NPRC, i 
and groups in the Fort Union 
process. I hope that the con 
be addressed in that process, 
assistance in clarifying or r 



J£s~jjfa& 



Helen Waller 
Chairman, Norther 
Plains Resource C 



ir Whitlock 
Gallagher 




United States Department of the 




Water Resources I 



Subject: 

We have i 



343 
344 

345 

346 



ge 20 . There Is a slight discrepancy . 
the saps of surface ownership and subi 
the south-central part of the tract, . 

rface Owner 



Page S3, table heading . The 
Alternative 3 Is given as 62' 
stated that Alternative 3 *wt 



Page 53, table 1-6 . The lo« 
of the table appears to indie 
Alternative 3 would be 204, Bl 



Page 135-143 Econonlc Impact 



int of Federal coal to I 
illllon tons. However, 
result In leasing an ai 
new production" (p. 72 



later it Is 
tlnated 832.3 
para. 12). 



lgbt figure In the upper one-half 
that the total area disturbed under 

cres. However, elsewhere in the draft 
egetatlon under Alternative 3 appears 
foe example, page 67, page 113, tables 



Secondary employment effects are not 
nt — some justification for excluding 



N«Ws R. ! 




Spates Department of the Interior 



BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS 
WASHINGTON, D C 20145 



Bureau of land Management 
Project Leader 
Billings, Montana 

Chief, Eh\rlronmental Services Staff 

Comments concerning Air Quality Information Supplemental to 
the Port Union Coal Region Draft Environmental Impact 
Statement (DES 82/1(7) 



! comments on the subject document for your action. These 
•e prepared by the Billings Area Director, 



UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT 

memorandum 



of Trust, Land Operatit 



Comments concerning Air Quality Information Supplemental to the 

Fort Union Coal Region Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DES 82/47) 



From: Billings Area Director 



347 



348 



of fit 



toward a Class II air quality 
supplement, several Montana India; 
Air Quality criteria. In additioi 
submitted an application for Clas: 
approved, the provisions inherent 
■Ore stringent stack emission coni 



quality supplement to the Fort Union draft EIS 
interprets the base line data to be governed 



ation. However, as referenced i 
Reservations have established Clas 

, the Fort Peck Reservation has 
I standards. If the application i 

to a Class I situation would rcquin 

rols. 



If the Federal coal exchange with Meridian Land and Mineral Company is 
approved under provisions of alternative 3, and a methanol facility is 
developed, adequate measures to provide Class I air quality standards 
would have to be incorporated into the design of the plant. 

In a related issi 
be established oi 
Indian Reservation. 

Wc feel the wind rose diagram (figure 2-3, page S-3) for Dickinson, North 
Dakota may not adequately address the wind conditions on the Fort Peck 

Reservation. 

For additional information regarding these comments, please contact 
David Pennington. 6S7-632S or Patrick Hemmy, 6S7-614S. 



Buy U.S. Savings Bonds Regularly on the Payroll Savinfls Plan 



2-76 







FEDERAL A10 COORDINATOR OFFICE 



September 2. 1982 

"LETTER OF CLEARANCE" IN CONFORMANCE WITH EXECUTIVE ORDER I'^gK! 
To: US Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management \ 
STATE APPLICATION IDENTIFICATION: ND82080403S2 i 



Mr. Michael J. Penfold, State Directo 
Bureau of Land Management 
P. 0. Box 501S7 
Billings, Montana S9107 

Dear Mr. Penfold, 






ZJZ 



This draft E1S 



ved in this office on August 4, 1982. 



Thank you for submitting your draft environmental impac 
ment for review and comment through the North Dakota St 
Intergovernmental Clearinghouse. 



Please send copies of the final environmental impact statement 
and any supplemental impact statements to the North Dakota agen- 
cies that have commented on the draft and to this office. The 
opportunity to review your draft is appreciated, and if this 
office as Clearinghouse can be of further assistance with this 
project, please let me know. 



Sincerely yours 



Mrs. Leonard E. Banks 

Coordinator 

State Intergovernmental Clearingho 



m 



DEFT OF INTERIOR 
BUR OF LAHO MANAGEMENT 

BtflfT oWfc jjki\'- 26 FEDERAL AID COORDINATOR OFFICE 

RECElVtO BWmarek. North O.hoU 5B50S 

"LETTER OF CLEARANCE" IN CONFORMANCE WITH EXECUTIV 
To: US Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Man 
STATE APPLICATION IDENTIFIER: ND6209270428 



v'.-mi*yt i _^ 



Mr. Michael J. Penfold, State Director 
Bureau of Land Management 
P. 0. Box 501S7 
Billings, MT 59107 

Dear Mr. Penfold 

Thank you for the copy of the Air Quality Information Supplement 
to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Fort Union 
Coal Region. 



wnfr i rcfr * 



Thank you for submi 
tal impact statemen 
Dakota State Interg 



r supplement to the draft environmen 
iew and comment through the North 
al Clearinghouse. 

he appropriate agencies, and no com- 



and any supple 
cies that have 
opportunity to 



of the final environmental impact statement 
1 impact statements to the North Dakota agen- 
ented on the draft and to this office. The 
ew your draft is appr 
ouse can be of furthe 




6. voi-^ 



ental Clearinghouse 



ENVIRON: EVTAL IMPACT ASSF-SSN 
■quest foe tlr.virio ; ent»l_ Inpac L Svalwat, 



BUR OmANt ^JW^ft NT^ ^ 

Munum Oepartment of Health iV 

682 OCT 25 E*IMn*fci<aJ Sciences 



i Stale Clea 



FROM: Hont. 
Offii 
Lapiti 
Helena, Montana 59620 



s hc, 



una STATE office 

.Litres, he* ■.'. «_«.•.,* 

nvironreeotal Impact Assessment Title: Aif Quality Information Sup plemental to the Fort Union 

Draft Environmental Impact Statement (MT82 0804-050- 1 



Clearinghouse File Numbe 
EIS Agency Sponsi 
SPONSOR ADDRESS: 



MT82O92O-109-E 



U. S. Dept. of the Interior. Bureau of Land Many. 



Fort Union Project. Bureau of Land Ma nagcir 



CONTACT PERSON: 



32nd Street. P. O Bo* 30157 
Billinp, MT 59107 
Uovd Em mons. Acting Project Manager 



COMMENTS DUE BY. Wm 

industry & public agencies will b, 
The Above Named Statement 



in this additional m quality information from interested citize n: 
>ted after the October 8. 1982 cutoff date, extending to and 
uding the Regional Coal Team meeting on October 19. 1982 



X is enclosed for your review and comment 

should have been received by your agency fn 

-M. Is available at the Clearinghouse Office fo 



Please evaluate the assessm. 
statewide and local objecti< 



nd fullfillment of 



elated i 



•iced should the 



1. The Environmental impact, of the proposed action. 

2. Any adverse environmental effects which cannot be , 
proposal be implemented. 

3. Alternatives to the proposed action. 

4. The relationship between local short-term uses of t 
and maintenance and enhancement of long-term productivity. 

5. Any irreversible and irretrievable commitments of resources which would 
be Involved in the proposed action should it be implenented. 

IF YOUR AGENCY HAS COMMENTS ON THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ANALYSIS, PLEASE SECT) 
IKZ COMMENTS DIRECTLY TO THE AGENCY SPONSOR AND EOKWASD A COPY OF THE C02EEK7S 
TO THE STATE CLEARINGHOUSE. 



NO COMMENT 

Reviewer's Signature 




United States Department of the Interior 



in ? fp T CF IMrrcmJOFFlCE OF SURFACE MLN1NG 

0F UNO aLu^n™ «d £»««»». « _ 



*N0 hANn^ru-Aeclamaiion and Enfoncmeat 
)Z7 tin,, WASHINGTON, D.C. 20240 



Project Manager. Port Union Project 

Montana State Office, Bureau of Land Management 

Chief, Division of En* 
Analyale 



vlronmental and.Ecnnomlc 



349 

350 
351 
352 



t 



Ue have reviewed the draft environmental impact statement (EIS) 
for the Fort Union Coal Region and find that overall it Is an 
excellent document. However, we do have some specific comments 
which should be considered before the final EIS 1b Issued. Our 
nts are as follows: 

al 

The Surface mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 should 
listed in 'Federal Laws Affecting Coal Development and 
rgy Conversion", Appendix A (page A-l through A-3). 

Hydrology 

Affected Environment 



Figure 2-6 on pa 
be useful (i.e.. 
Fort Union Forma 



eded. 



tween the four hydrogeologlc 

the Pierre shale and the Fort 
not clear (see page 85, and 
86). Further clarification would 
e the four aquifer zones in the 
n?) 

mineable coal bed Is below the 

em (watertable vs. confined) Is 



A discussion of the relationship between 

alluvial/till aquifers and bedrock aquifer systems 

Is recommended (page 85). The description should 

Include a short discussion of the recharge and 

discharge areas for both the allul va 1/ t 111 and 
bedrock systems. This information le especially 

valuable because of the potential alluvial valley 



Elo 



It 



2-77 



Environmental Consequenc 



353 

354 
355 



The following statement (page 103) may be 
misleading: "In many parts of this area, the 
mineable lignite lies below the water table and is 
often tapped by wells for domestic and stock water 
supplies". If the assumption by the reader is 
correct that the mineable lignite is generally 
confined by the adjacent strata, a statement to the 
effect that the "lignite is below the water table 

"While the mine pit is open, groundwater from the 
surrounding area will seep Into the pit causing a 
drawdown of water levels. This impact will be 
limited Co the mining tracts and an area within one 
mile of the tracts" (page 103). If this analysis is 
based on published information, a reference is 
required. Otherwise, a justification of the one 
mile limit should be provided. 

"There is no practical way to restore alluvial 
valley floors ..." (page 105). Several mine plans 
In the Powder River basin propose to mine alluvial 
valley floors <AVP) and to restore the essential 
hydrologic funcltions as part of the reclamation 
plans. Although no AVF's have been mined and 



Fish and Wildlife 



356 
357 



roposed Coal Lease Altneratlves - Special Tract Stipulations 

The protective measures (avoidance, buffer zones or 
mandatory restoration) in the stipulations should be 
described for the Sharp-tailed grouse and critical 
antelope range (page 48). 

Since approximately 120,000 acres of wildlife 
habitat could be impacted by leasing, the BLH ehould 
consider requiring additional mitigation measures. 
Possible mitigation measures to aid in the 
restoration of wildlife habitat could include: 

on reclaimed land for 



Establishing buffer 
until the lessee has 



ed with the USFWS 



357 



5. Requiring a pre-disturbance survey (within o 
year) of all prairie dog towns, using USFWS 
methods, to avoid impacts on black-footed fe 



Affect Envlr 



358 



threatened and endangered species, descriptions of 
the following groups should be Included (pages 
90-92). 

1) Raptors (many of high federal interest) 

(including furbearers and 

3) Small mammals (Important as prey base) 

4) Passerines (diversity Indicators) 
biological 



Environmental 



359 
360 



In many cases the post-mining land form and 
vegetation diversity will be changed from the 
pre-mining condition, often from a rough, shrubby 
rangeland to a different form such as grass 
dominated pasture. This change will Impact wildlife 
through a species composition change and reduced 
species diversity. Such impacts should be presented 
as permanent losses of wildlife habitat. This 
subject is only briefly explored (page 124) and 
should be discussed in greater detail. 

The impacts to antelope movements created by new 
fences pits, stockpiles, and facilities should be 
discussed since free access to shelter during winter 
storms Is a key factor in pronghorn survival. 







i 


I 361 


~"o Posaible Impacts on raptors resulting from new 

electric transmission facilities, with references to 
approved designs, to minimize electrocutions, should 
be Included. 


1 362 


~o We recommend a discussion of Impacts to wildlife by 
off-road vehicles (snowmobiles during stressful 
wintering periods, four wheel drive disturbances 


M 


riculture 


1 363 


~o The intermixing of calcareous horizons with other 
overburden material (p. 86) is precluded under 
reclamation laws of both Montana and North Dakota. 
If it will be mitigated, there is no need to 
describe it as an Impact. In addition, Impacts and 
mitigation should not be Included in the Affected 
Environment Chapter. 




d 


ltural Resources 




364 


o A site-specific table or chart summarizing the 

cultural resources work which has been performed is 
suggested. 




So 


cloeconomic 




365 


o Under three of the alternatives, development of the 
coal tracts would generate a need for detailed 
traffic studies prerequisite to highway improvement 
planning; there also would be an increase in highway 




366 


which most of these alternatives assure, public 
revenues generally lag behind public costs by two or 
three years. The major Issue is whether local 
government can handle the projected population 

faciltitles and services. The draft EIS states that 
"front-end" financing would resolve most of the lag 
problems and implies when the full flow of 
additional revenue does come on line, It will be 
adequate ("Public Revenues and Costa", page 8). 

This is not necessarily so, particularly in cases 
where the area experiencing most of the direct 



366 
367 



increase in public revenues. Such contradictions 
arise in the case of geographic or jurisdictional 
aberrations. These situations usually require 
special attention. 

The charts on page A-19 and 20 of appendix H 
persistently indicate negative fiscal balances 
lasting into the year 2000 for most of the Hontan 
townB impacted by preferred Alternative 3. In ot 
words, these fiscal deficits are projected to end 
long after any reasonable lag period and regardle 
of general benefits of the developments. It appe 
these potential fiscal consequences and need for 
mitigation should be emphasized more in the 



2-78 




WENT OF THE AIR FORCE 






qQPP 

er 19H2 



p,.95 



Fort Jnicn flraft Environmental Impact Statement (OFIS) MT8AJ8C!-0b0-E 

'■ Clearinghouse 

Office of Sudoet and Program Planning 
Capitol 3uilding, Room ?37 
-.elena, <T 59620 



merits 



subject draft CIS , 



tht- 



368 



'. ■'-' representatives attended the public meeting held at Reulah, North 

. 28 September 198Z and have also reviewed the referenced document. 
There is no concern with the coal leasing developments involvino the Montana 
tracts, '-,'e do have concern, however, with coal exploration activities which may 
in McLean County, specifically in the Garrison and Lake Sukakawea area. 
■ particular area contains Air Force missile sites and interconnecting buried 



c.l 



:>l- 



3. hr. Jack E. Moore, 

i, has prev 

the Qimnos and the D 

Department of Uie Intei 

I .ration 
mend thai vr. Hoore 
reached at the foil. 



.,. i i 



hief o* Missile Cable Affairs at Minot Air Force Case. 
usly provided copies of missile fight area maps to both 
kin Son offices of the Bureau of Land Management, 
or, m expressing this concern. Before any coal 
viiies ire considered for the specified area, we recom- 
ont acted for further input on this matter. He can be 
address : 



Department of the Air Fori ■ 

\i (ahl? Affairs 
!l50th Communications Squadron (AFCC) 
■hue' Air Force Rase, NO SS70S 
Telephone ( '01 > 727-3646 

Tnank ycu for the opportunity to review the DEIS. He hope these comment 
ill be helpful to you in evaluating the environmental impacts^ the varioi 
lternatives discussed In the DEIS, It »<• can be of further a^sfttaVi?e, pli 
itate to call us. 

incerely 



Dfi 


/As St 


Fed -'. 


d 


Coordinator 


{ ■•'!■ 


. Bonn 


ie Ba 


. 


. A-95 


Coord) 


Sta 


te Cap 


i tol , 


B 


smarck 


NO 



, I ,is*,V i, v 



91CSG/0EEVE, Kinot AFB 

2150 Com Sq, Minot AFB (Miss 

Cable Affairs) 
SAC/OEV 



2-79 



PART III 
Responses to Public Comments 



INTRODUCTION 



This section contains the responses to the public comment. The responses are numbered 1 through 368 to 
correspond with the bracketed and numbered comments and questions found in Part II. In order to save time and 
space, where the same comment or question surfaces several times, the reader will be referenced back to an earlier 
response. In some cases, the reader will be referred to the Modifications and Corrections section which is Part I of this 
document. 

RESPONSE TO PUBLIC COMMENTS 



RESPONSE 1 . The change has been made. See the 
Modifications and Corrections section, Introduction. 

RESPONSE 2. The correction has been made. See 
the Modifications and Corrections section, Chapter 3, 
Other Land Uses. 

RESPONSE 3. The change has been made. See the 
Modifications and Corrections section, Appendix I. 

RESPONSE 4. Flow and quality data for the Red- 
water River are presented in Tables 2-6 and 2-7 (pp. 86 
and 87) of the Draft EIS. The Draft EIS does not state 
that this water will pollute the Missouri River. The reason 
for concern about the Redwater River is due to the state 
standards for water quality, alluvial valley floor status, 
and the effects that mining may have on them. 

RESPONSE 5. Lignite has almost always been used 
on site. The Regional Coal Team decided evaluation of 
leasing and development should include an analysis of 
impacts associated with typical end-use facilities which 
might be developed with new mines, since the mining 
of coal provides a lesser portion of the total impacts 
associated with development. Although the Regional 
Coal Team included these facilities in the Draft EIS, 
approval of these facilities is not a part of the action 
required in the document. Such facilities would be 
subjected to separate analyses, and approval must be 
received by the appropriate permitting agencies. 

RESPONSE 6. The changes have been made. See 
the Modifications and Corrections section, Appendix A. 

RESPONSE 7. Some of the activities associated with 
the development of mines and facilities could require 
approval by the Corps of Engineers on the nationwide 
permit or would require an individual permit for the 
specific activity. 

RESPONSE 8. See response 6 concerning changes 
to Appendix A, and the Modifications and Corrections 
section, Chapter 3, Water. 

RESPONSE 9. The Regional Coal Team assumed 
that a coal conversion facility would be located in the 
vicinity of each new mine since lignite is almost always 
used on site. Based on the assumption that there would 



be a mine-mouth facility with each new mine, there is no 
need to discuss coal slurry facilities to transport lignite 
out of the region. See Draft EIS page 4, second para- 
graph, under Use of Lignite Coal. 

RESPONSE 10. We agree the vast shorelines of 
Lake Sakakawea and Fort Peck Reservoir offer tre- 
mendous potential for new recreational sites. The 
major stumbling block for new recreational facilities is 
the tight budget now in force in all federal agencies. The 
Corps of Engineers and the Fish and Wildlife Service 
have an agreement concerning Fort Peck Reservoir 
and the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge. 
These two organizations would work together on any 
new recreational developments. Off-road vehicle travel 
may become a problem around Lake Sakakawea, but 
the National Wildlife Refuge has regulations prohibiting 
driving off authorized roads. 

RESPONSE 11. The figures generated for this 
regional study are only an indication of potential prob- 
lem areas. The indicator is relative and not absolute. A 
detailed origin/designation analysis would be meaning- 
less at this time because the actual origins, destina- 
tions, shift composition and make up of the traffic are 
unknown. It is acknowledged that impacts will occur 
and will result in problems of congestion, increased 
maintenance and possibly the need for safety 
improvement. More study is clearly indicated and 
should be conducted after mining plans are drafted. 

RESPONSE 12. Copies of the Draft EIS were mailed 
to the Montana and North Dakota highway depart- 
ments. 

RESPONSE 1 3. It is assumed that the out-of-pit haul 
roads referred to are those shown on the tract maps on 
pages 1 1 through 35. These haul roads and pit advance 
lines are general in nature and may not reflect what 
would occur when a mining company actually develops 
the tract. Before these areas are mined, a specific min- 
ing plan must be prepared and approved by the permit- 
ting agency. This specific mining plan would include 
out-of-pit haul roads which should consider property 
and section lines. 

RESPONSE 14. The major statutes relating to coal 
leasing and mining are discussed on page 4 of the Draft 



3-1 



EIS. Appendices A and B were used to list other federal 
and state statutes that may influence coal leasing and 
development. 

RESPONSE 15. It is agreed that the BLM and 
National Park Service analyses were not designed for 
the same purposes. 

RESPONSE 16. The substance of the comment is 
correct. The term "adverse", as used in the document 
in reference to air quality (including visibility) impacts, 
referred to the meaning customary in EIS analyses 
under the National Environmental Policy Act. See the 
Modifications and Corrections section, Air Quality, 
Chapter 3. 

RESPONSE 1 7. The Zenith tract was ranked last and 
the company that initially expressed interest in the area 
is no longer interested. The Regional Coal Team took 
this into consideration when selecting Alternative 3 as 
its preferred alternative. This alternative meets the leas- 
ing target and provides balance between environmen- 
tal impacts and making available additional coal 
reserves in the Ft. Gnion coal region. 

RESPONSE 1 8. Page 1 06 of the Draft EIS discussed 
the expected impacts to the Heart River and Patterson 
Lake. It does not mention the public well systems of 
Belfield or South Heart. The impacts of mining on the 
water available to these systems were considered dur- 
ing the analysis and determined to be insignificant. 

Replacing disturbed wells with wells that tap the 
Fox Hills aquifer at depths that will cost $20,000 to drill 
is a worst-case situation. Depth to this aquifer will vary 
according to the tract location (see Figure 2-6, p. 88 of 
the Draft EIS). The Dunn Center and Zenith tracts are 
located where the Fox Hills aquifer is found at depths 
deeper than the regional average. There also exists the 
possibility of getting water from a shallower aquifer. 



When a mining company initiates mining in an 
area it must, by state and federal law. install a ground- 
water monitoring network. As mining progresses, it 
also must submit periodic reports including the data 
collected from the monitoring network. In the Ft. Gnion 
region, if the monitoring network is properly planned 
and installed, there should not be a problem identifying 
impacts associated with mining activities (N.D. Public 
Service Commission, personal communication). 

The typical procedure followed in the event of a 
disturbed water source is as follows. A change in the 
water source would be noticed by either the mining 
company or the water user. If the water user notices a 
change, he/she would usually go to the mining com- 
pany. If the mining company agrees, the source would 
be replaced. If not, the user would go to the state 
regulatory authority. At this time the state geologists/ 
hydrologists make an assessment of the situation. If 
mining is found to be the cause, the agency has the 
authority to force the company to replace the source. If 
the state agency finds that the company action is not 
the cause or finds no evidence to suggest that the 
company action is the cause, no action is taken. If a user 
wants to pursue the situation further, he/she can hire a 
consulting professional. 

The most critical part of the process is the monitor- 
ing network established at the onset of mining. There 
may be a few cases where no determination can be 
made, however, experience in the Ft. Gnion region has 
been that these are atypical cases. Most of the time the 
complaint never reaches the regulatory agency (N.D. 
Public Service Commission, personal communica- 
tion). 

The increased cost of pumping would depend 
upon many conditions, but the information below gives 
approximate costs for various well depths and opera- 
tion sizes. The estimates are per well for a pumping rate 
of ten gallons per minute and a cost for electricity of 
four cents per kilowatt hour. 



Well Depth 



Pump Size 



Well Installation & 
Development Cost 



Yearly Cost to Yearly Cost to Yearly Cost to 

Provide 600 gpd Provide 2400 gpd Provide 4200 gpd 



100 ft 
500 ft 
1 ,000 ft 



'/ 2 HP 
1 '/2 HP 
3 HP 



$2,000.00 
10,000.00 
20,000.00 



$7.30 
21.90 
43.80 



$29.20 

87.60 

175.20 



$51.10 
1 53.30 
306.60 



3-2 



A farm operation with no animals or a residence would 
use about 600 gpd, a farm with some livestock or a 
small ranch operation may use about 2400 gpd, and a 
larger livestock operation may require closer to 4200 
gpd from wells. Maintenance costs are much harder to 
estimate but larger pumps would have larger repair 
bills. 

RESPONSE 19. The Air Quality Supplement indi- 
cates the amount of sulfur dioxide pollution will 
increase in the vicinity of the Zenith tract under Alterna- 
tives 4-6 but not to the extent of exceeding any applica- 
ble federal or state standards indicative of levels harm- 
ful to health or agriculture. No significant increase in 
ozone pollution is predicted in the Supplement. The 
Supplement does predict that the federal (secondary 
ambient) standard, as well as the North Dakota stand- 
ard, for 24-hour average TSP (total suspended particu- 
lates) will be exceeded in the vicinity of the Zenith tract 
but only under Alternatives 4-6. Such 24-hour exceed- 
ance episodes would not be expected to affect human 
health or agriculture. 

The effect of air pollution on crop yield is expected 
to be insignificant or nil. This is based on the modeling 
predictions that worst-case concentrations of pollutants 
would be well below ambient air quality standards in all 
cases. An exception would be the 24-hour average 
suspended particulate concentrations may exceed the 
standards under occasional worst-case conditions in 
small areas immediately adjacent to coal tracts. The 
ambient standards are set at levels to protect public 
health and welfare, including agriculture, based on the 
best available current knowledge. 

Vegetation is not significantly affected by sus- 
pended particulate matter, even at concentrations in 
excess of ambient air quality standards. Nitrogen 
oxides at concentrations below ambient standards are 
not known to be harmful to vegetation and are to some 
extent beneficial by providing assimilable nitrogen. Sul- 
fur dioxide, on the other hand, has been reported to be 
harmful to some species under certain conditions, with 
species sensitivity being widely variable. Potential 
effects on crops of sulfur dioxide pollution from coal 
development in western North Dakota were evaluated 
in considerable detail in the Final West Central North 
Dakota Regional Study on Energy Development (BLM 
and State of North Dakota, 1978). It was noted in that 
study that sulfur dioxide concentrations somewhat 
below ambient air quality standards have been reported 
to be harmful to such crops as wheat, oats, and alfalfa. 
The most serious report was a German publication 
which indicated sulfur dioxide at an average concentra- 
tion of 39 ug/m 3 for the entire growing season could 
cause a 15 percent wheat crop loss; at 25 ug/m 3 
throughout the growing season, it could cause slight 
leaf discoloration and necrosis in oats and barley, but 
no yield loss was reported. It was concluded in the West 
Central EIS that no significant crop losses would be 
expected from the coal development projects under 



consideration in that study, because predicted long- 
term sulfur dioxide concentrations would be far below 
any reported harmful levels. The concentrations pre- 
dicted were in the range of 7.5 ug/m 3 annual average, 
with 5 ug/m 3 representing the existing background (in 
the seven county study area) and 2.5 ug/m 3 represent- 
ing the predicted maximum increase due to the proj- 
ects under consideration. 

The long-term average sulfur dioxide concentra- 
tions predicted by modeling in the present study are 
very similar to those predicted in the West Central North 
Dakota study, although they would extend over a larger 
area. The annual average incremental sulfur dioxide 
concentration predicted for most of the Ft. Gnion 
region under Alternative 3 is 1 .4 ug/m 3 . With a back- 
ground concentration of 3 ug/m 3 and an additional 
increment of approximately 3 ug/m 3 due to other 
expected developments (non-BLM projects), a total 
annual average sulfur dioxide concentration of 7-8 
ug/m 3 may be expected for most of the Ft. Gnion 
region. Some areas may fall below that level, and a few 
small localities may be slightly higher. Figure 19-1 
shows the isopleth map of the predicted annual aver- 
age sulfur dioxide concentrations. 

Although the Air Quality Supplement study indi- 
cates that substantially higher sulfur dioxide concentra- 
tions can occur for short periods as a result of the coal 
leasing project alternatives, it must be borne in mind 
that such episodes represent worst-case, short-term 
happenings which would be infrequent (a few times per 
year), and such episodes, because of their short dura- 
tion (a few days) and low frequency, would have no 
effect on crops. 

Under the maximum coal leasing alternative 
(Alternative 6), the area of sulfur dioxide concentrations 
exceeding 4.5 ug/m 3 would be extended, as shown in 
Figure 1 9-2, and the average concentration would be 
approximately 1 ug/m 3 higher than for Alternative 3. In 
one small locality (near Mandan, ND) the concentration 
would exceed 10.5 ug/m 3 , as with Alternative 3. It is 
concluded from this information that no perceptible 
loss in crop yields is expected to result from the coal 
leasing project. 

RESPONSE 20. Past experience indicates that 
communities near energy developments experience 
severe financial strains when population influxes are 
significant. Local property owners may bear a large part 
of the financial risk/burden in cases where the required 
increase in infrastructure (sewage, water, schools, etc.) 
is great. Similarily, the burden of long-term payment 
would be on the residents of the area once the con- 
struction work force leaves. 

RESPONSE 21. See the Modifications and Correc- 
tions section, Air Quality, Chapter 3. 

RESPONSE 22. The intent of the quoted sentence 
was to note that the North Dakota State Department of 



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3-5 



Health (NDSDH) was apprised of the regional modeling 
study plan, including its objectives and scope, at the 
start of the study, and was invited at that time to offer 
advice, opinions, and relevant data. This took place in a 
meeting at the NDSDH offices in Bismarck, March 9, 
1 982. Later the preliminary results and report draft were 
reviewed and discussed with representatives of NDSDH 
(together with representatives of the Montana Air Qual- 
ity Bureau, EPA Region IX-Helena, and Regional Coal 
Team staff) in a meeting in Billings, June 22, 1982. 
Through these meetings and additional informal cor- 
respondence, the NDSDH provided valuable input and 
assistance to the air quality study, however, neither the 
sentence quoted above nor any other in the document 
was intended, nor should be construed to imply that the 
NDSDH was responsible in any way for the study, its 
interpretations, or conclusions. This same caveat also 
applies to the Montana Air Quality Bureau. 

RESPONSE 23. The sentence on page 6 of the Draft 
EIS referred to the assumption that only two of the six 
facilities that have permit applications pending would 
be supplied with coal from the bypass and mainte- 
nance tracts of Alternative 1. All six facilities are 
included in the assumed 1997 emissions inventory 
(Appendix F , as corrected). The two facilities referred 
to above are included in Appendix F but only counted 
once. 

RESPONSE 24. The change has been made. See 
the Modifications and Corrections section, Air Quality, 
Chapter 3. 

RESPONSE 25. The correction has been made. See 
the Modifications and Corrections section, Air Quality, 
Chapter 3. 

RESPONSE 26. The comments are correct and are 
taken to be substantially in agreement with the intended 
meaning of the modeling studies report. 

The analysis demonstrates that PSD increments 
can be exceeded by project emissions but does not 
predict whether higher exceedances would occur at 
any other Class I area besides Theodore Roosevelt 
National Park-North, nor with what frequency. To 
determine more definitively the worst-case pollutant 
concentrations for each Class I area under each project 
alternative would require a large expenditure of time 
and effort not available to this study. See the change in 
the Modifications and Corrections section, Air Quality, 
Chapter 3. 

RESPONSE 27. The problem of determining and 
accounting for true background pollutant concentra- 
tions is difficult and imprecise, owing mainly to the 
paucity of reliable ambient air quality monitoring data at 
pristine locations and times. This was discussed in the 
Air Quality Supplement on page S- 1 5. Because of this, 
it is true and unavoidable that some small degree of 



double counting of baseline emissions occurred in the 
modeling study (BLM, 1 982). It is believed that the data 
and methodology employed in establishing back- 
ground concentrations (described on page S- 1 5 and in 
more detail in the Air Quality and Climate Technical 
Report) and the fact that the monitoring data employed 
were taken primarily from rural locations remote from 
known emission sources, produced the most reliable 
background concentrations available. This minimized 
the effect of double counting. The results and conclu- 
sions of the study are not substantially affected by this 
factor. 

A recent, related air quality study by the Air Quality 
Division of the National Park Service ( 1 982) relied upon 
modeling data from the North Dakota State Depart- 
ment of Health. In this study a similar limitation was 
encountered, as pointed out in the following excerpt: 
". . .the observed data include contributions from those 
increment consuming sources now in operation, and 
therefore, some double counting is involved. Because 
individual source contributions cannot be determined 
from the monitoring data and source contribution 
estimates for all modeling scenarios are not available, 
the significance of the double counting cannot be easily 
assessed." 

RESPONSE 28. It is agreed the data and statements 
on pages S-5 and S-36 are insufficient to support an 
inference that the pH of precipitation in North Dakota is 
increasing. 

The pH value of 5.65 for pure water and pure 
carbon dioxide at standard pressure is still generally 
accepted as a theoretical value for the pure materials, 
but it is currently recognized by researchers investigat- 
ing these phenomena that actual atmospheric precipi- 
tation may not have the same pH because it is a more 
complex composition. Hence, the significance of pre- 
cipitation pH measurements is a subject of current 
research and controversy, and all statements in the 
document pertaining to this subject should be viewed 
with this caveat in mind, as pointed out on pages S-7, 
column two, paragraph two and S-8, column one, 
paragraph two of the Air Quality Supplement. 

RESPONSE 29. Wetland habitat which has been 
created provides an important experience for applica- 
tion to surface mined land reclamation. Contour and 
drainage patterns have proven important to the devel- 
opment of these water bodies, and water retention has 
been aided by the application of local clays or bentonite 
to the soil. Seedings, transplantings, and fertilization are 
other common practices that would be used. Cattails 
and other aquatic vegetative species have been estab- 
lished on the Western Energy pond at Colstrip, at 
Westmoreland's ponding area A, and at the Peabody 
box cut reservoir. These water bodies have been used 
for several years by several waterfowl species. 

RESPONSE 30. See response 29 concerning 
wetlands. 



3-6 



RESPONSE 31 . The purpose of the Ft. Union Coal 
Region Environmental Impact Statement is to examine 
the environmental consequences of leasing and devel- 
oping federal coal reserves in compliance with the fed- 
eral coal management regulations. The determination 
of the need for further coal leasing was covered in the 
Federal Coal Management Program environmental 
statement under which the Draft E1S was prepared. 
Where the programmatic EIS has analyzed information 
and program alternatives, the issues were not covered 
again in this EIS. 

The determination of fair market value for coal is 
not a purpose of this EIS. After the sale but before a 
lease is issued, a determination will be made on 
whether or not the high bid for each tract reflects fair 
market value. If it is determined fair market value was 
not received, a lease will not be issued. 

RESPONSE 32. Whether the proposed coal leasing 
would bring new requests for waivers of air quality laws 
is conjectural. Whether any such requests would be 
granted would be determined by the people of the 
states involved through their agencies (see Appendix B, 
page A-4, Draft EIS) as well as the federal government 
through the EPA. The Air Quality Supplement dis- 
cusses the problem of acid rainfall (pages S-5, S-7, S-8, 
S-35, S-36, and S-37). See the Modifications and Cor- 
rections section, Air Quality, Chapter 3 and response 
28. 

RESPONSE 33. The Final Environmental State- 
ment for the Federal Coal Management Program dis- 
cusses the various alternatives to coal in providing for 
energy independence in the United States. Since they 
are discussed in that document, this EIS only 
addressed alternatives to leasing targets. 

RESPONSE 34. See response 1 8 concerning water 
well systems. 

RESPONSE 35. See response 15 concerning the 
BLM and NPS analyses. 

RESPONSE 36. See response 16 concerning 
adverse air quality impacts. 

RESPONSE 37. See response 17 concerning the 
ranking of the Zenith tract. 

RESPONSE 38. See response 18 concerning well 
systems. 

RESPONSE 39. See response 1 9 concerning sulfur 
dioxide pollution. 

RESPONSE 40. See response 20 concerning popu- 
lation impacts. 

RESPONSE 41. See the Modifications and Correc- 
tions section, Air Quality, Chapter 3. 



RESPONSE 42. See the Modifications and Correc- 
tions section, Air Quality, Chapter 3. 

RESPONSE 43. See response 22 concerning the 
development of the air quality study. 

RESPONSE 44. See the Modifications and Correc- 
tions section, Air Quality, Chapter 2. 

RESPONSE 45. Appendix F has been corrected as 
noted. See the Modifications and Correction section, 
Appendix F. 

RESPONSE 46. See response 23 concerning facili- 
ties with pending permits. 

RESPONSE 47. The change has been made. See 
the Modifications and Corrections section, Air Quality, 
Chapter 3. 

RESPONSE 48. The modifications made in the 
MESOPGFF model for the Ft. Gnion Air Quality study 
did not alter or affect the basic physical theory or 
mathematical methodology of the model. It merely 
expanded its capacity to handle larger numbers of 
emission sources and types of pollutants and to accept 
area sources in addition to point sources. The nature of 
these modifications was discussed verbally and infor- 
mally with the North Dakota State Department of 
Health modeling expert, Martin Schock, during the 
course of the study, and a check run of a particular 
scenario was made by both groups and found on com- 
parison to produce similar results for that particular 
scenario. However, the NDSDH has not formally 
reviewed the modification and has not approved its use 
for this or any other study. Such a formal review by the 
cognizant regulatory agency, as well as approval by the 
EPA, would be requisite for use of the modification for 
air quality modeling in connection with a PSD permit 
application. 

RESPONSE 49. The correction has been made in 
the Modifications and Correction section, Air Quality, 
Chapter 3. 

RESPONSE 50. The term "study region" in the 
quoted sentence referred to the defined boundaries of 
the Ft. Gnion Coal Region, as shown in the Air Quality 
Supplement, Figure 3-1 (page S-13), "Ft. Gnion Coal 
Region Study Area and Project Tract Locations," and in 
Map 1 of the Draft EIS (pocket). Within this meaning, 
the sentence is correct. However, the entire meteoro- 
logical data base provided by the North Dakota State 
Department of Health, which included the Rapid City 
data, was utilized in the modeling studies. The data 
stations and related information are listed in the separ- 
ate Air Quality and Climate Technical Report. 



RESPONSE 51. 

modeling study. 



See response 26 concerning the 



3-7 



RESPONSE 52. See response 27 concerning back- 
ground pollutant concentrations. 

RESPONSE 53. The correction has been made. See 
the Modifications and Corrections section. Air Quality, 
Chapter 2. 

RESPONSE 54. The report in point provides addi- 
tional data on the effects of trace element emissions 
from a coal-fired power plant. Findings reported in the 
publication (North Dakota State Department of Health, 
1 979) support and expand on the conclusions of earlier 
research cited. The findings do not otherwise affect the 
analysis presented on pages S-37 and S-38 of the Air 
Quality Supplement. The reference has been added. 
See the Modifications and Corrections section, 
References. 

RESPONSE 55. See response 28 concerning pH 

values. 

RESPONSE 56. See response 31 concerning the 
purpose of the Draft EIS and the need to lease federal 
coal. 

RESPONSE 57. See response 32 concerning air 
quality laws. 

RESPONSE 58. See response 18 concerning dis- 
turbed water wells. 

RESPONSE 59. The statements referred to indicate 
the desire by the Regional Coal Team and the BLM to 
consider public opinion in formulating the preferred 
alternative and preparing the Draft EIS. It is through 
public input that information which was not available or 
not known was gathered and used in the conclusions 
and decisions. Many times specific information pre- 
sented through the public forum enhances the value of 
environmental statements. It is also through such a 
process that the RCT is made aware of special con- 
cerns, however, the decisions that are made are not 
solely based upon public participation. These decisions 
must also weigh information related to the interest of 
the entire country. Based on all of the information 
available, a decision is made which provides balance 
between the national interest, environmental concerns, 
and special local concerns. 

RESPONSE 60. See response 31 concerning the 
purpose of the Draft EIS and the need to lease federal 
coal. 

RESPONSE 61 . As intimated on page 50 of the Draft 
EIS, substantial tonnages of coal must be supplied 
annually through the operational life of the existing 
end-use facilities. If the federal coal reserves under con- 
sideration are not developed, additional private coal 
resources must be leased if the facilities are to remain in 
operation. The figures in the Draft EIS on page 50 



represent continued operation of mines and facilities 
associated with the production maintenance/by-pass 
tracts. Acreage figures would be similar whether or not 
federal coal is leased. Only reserve ownership would 
change appreciably. 

RESPONSE 62. The 1% disruption to Ft. Union 
regional agriculture is attributed to direct mining 
acreage disruption and applies to all alternatives includ- 
ing Alternative 6. The figure is cumulative for mining 
disturbance, and it also takes into account acreage 
estimates for end-use and ancillary facilities. No estima- 
tion was made for any crop acreage lost due to regional 
community expansion; however, even if community 
expansion acreage were to equal mined land disturb- 
ance, regional agricultural disruption still would not 
approach significant levels. Agricultural support econ- 
omy impacts were considered to be directly propor- 
tional to mined land disturbance. The point made in the 
Draft EIS was that the 1% disruption, or even a 2% 
disruption, would not approach the regional effects of 
existing fluctuations in the agricultural economy due to 
weather, interest rates, and supply and demand. 

RESPONSE 63. Off-site impacts have been 
addressed in the Draft EIS as shown by these examples: 
Impacts were addressed for air quality in Chapter 3 
(pages S-34 to S-42) of the Air Quality Information 
Supplement. Off-site issues to agriculture include dis- 
cussions of emissions, acid rain, surface and subsur- 
face water pollution, and aquifer damage. Significant 
off-site impacts to wildlife were discussed in the Draft 
EIS. These discussions focused on the impacts of 
increased numbers of people, construction of roads, 
subdivisions, pipelines, and other items. Discussions 
on transportation and rights-of-way were centered on 
off-site impacts. Most of the discussions within the eco- 
nomic conditions section of the Draft EIS deal with 
off-site change to surrounding communities. Changes 
in social conditions were also discussed and are off-site 
impacts. The Draft EIS has addressed the off-site 
impacts to the fullest extent possible within the con- 
straints of time, budget, and research capabilities. 
Models were used and contracts were issued to address 
impacts to farm and ranch operations, economic 
impacts to communities, and air quality impacts within 
the region. Since this analysis is a regional statement, 
the scope of the document focuses on regional impli- 
cations rather than site-specific impacts. 

RESPONSE 64. The statement quoted on page 41 
of the Draft EIS is an assumption necessary for analyti- 
cal purposes. Successful reclamation of wetlands, 
woody draws and native prairie vegetation types has not 
yet been proven because of the time frames required to 
reconstruct these ecosystems to their pre-mined pro- 
ductivity. The time required to reclaim these ecosys- 
tems is from 1 5 to 20 years and up to 50 years for 
woody draws. 



3-8 



An example of the state-of-the-art for wetland rec- 
lamation is given in response 29. No research for 
woody draw restoration is presently funded in Montana, 
but Western Energy and the Westmoreland Company 
have rehabilitaion efforts underway. These efforts 
include transplanting shrubs, seedlings, and tublings. 
Preliminary results are encouraging but not conclusive. 

In 1 978, Consolidation Coal Company established 
a demonstration site on the Glenharold mine in North 
Dakota to test mined-land reclamation procedures 
needed to replace woodland ecosystems. Factors 
being evaluated are: potted stock versus bare-root 
stock, Vermeer tree spade transplantings, effects of soil 
depth, slope and aspect, and position importance. 
Information to date shows survival rates for juniper, 
green ash and plum of 96.8 percent, 79.6 percent and 
77.5 percent, respectively (Williamson and Wangerud, 
1980). 

In a related experiment on physical and environ- 
mental factors of woodland ecosystems, Williamson, et 
al ( 1 981 ) reported that regional aquifers are a relatively 
important source of water to the woody vegetation in 
draws. Data indicates that the flow generated locally 
within woody draws is approximately 30 times greater 
than the flow to the draws via coal seams. Recharge 
from local infiltration within the draws is likely to be a 
more important source of water. Three factors are 
important for the presence of woody vegetation: (1) 
landform, (2) slope-aspect, and (3) shallow water table 
outcrops. Of these three factors, landform and aspect 
are the most important. 

In North Dakota, Power, et al ( 1 98 1 ), reported on a 
study in which soil was reconstructed by building a 
wedge 40 to 210 cm thick with productive subsoil (B 
and upper C horizon) on top of leveled sodic mine 
spoils derived from shale. Topsoil (A horizon) was then 
spread over the wedge at 0, 20, and 60 cm depths. Four 
crops — alfalfa, crested wheatgrass, native warm sea- 
son grasses and spring wheat — were grown each year 
on these plots from 1975 through 1979. Yield of all 
crops increased as total soil thickness (topsoil plus 
subsoil) increased to the 90-150 cm range. Highest 
yields equaled or exceeded yields on similar undis- 
turbed soil types under good management. In most 
instances, over 90 percent of the maximum yields were 
obtained when 70 cm of subsoil plus 20 cm of topsoil 
covered the sodic spoil. Yield from 60 cm of topsoil 
were similar to those from 20 cm of topsoil. 

In a study of livestock and vegetative performance 
on reclaimed and non-mined rangeland in North 
Dakota, Hoffman, et al. ( 1 980), made a comparison of 
post-mining productivity and use from a reclaimed site 
near Center, North Dakota. Productivity on the 
reclaimed site was comparable to that on non-mined 
land. 

No applications for bond release have been sub- 
mitted for major surface mining operations within the 
Ft. Union region since the enactment of the Surface 
Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) in 1 977. 



No full release applications are expected before 1 987, 
since SMCRA requires a 10-year mandatory operator 
responsibility and a liability period following revege- 
taton. 

RESPONSE 65. Disturbance of the sod would cause 
dust pollution. The degree of pollution would be deter- 
mined by the mitigation or control measures 
employed. Best available control technology would be 
required by established regulations and would mini- 
mize impacts. 

RESPONSE 66. Natural springs would not be 
replaced and disturbed water veins would not be reacti- 
vated. Natural springs and wells tapping disturbed 
aquifers would be replaced by water wells tapping other 
undisturbed aquifers. Information related to water pol- 
lution and depletion is covered on pages 105 through 
107 of the Draft EIS. 

RESPONSE 67. Sulfur dioxide emissions from coal- 
fired power plants have been a topic of concern for 
some time. Air quality standards have been promul- 
gated and research on sulfur dioxide emissions and 
bioenvironmental effects on the grassland system have 
been studied. 

Metabolic selenium deficiency which causes white 
muscle disease and stillborn calves in cattle may be 
related to air pollution from coal-fired power plants. In 
1966, this problem developed on a ranch with 400 
cattle about one mile from the Heskett Station (Man- 
dan) power plant in North Dakota. Although the sele- 
nium level of the soil did not indicate that selenium 
deficiency should occur, it has been suggested by Hast- 
ings (personal communication) and others that the 
sulfates emitted from the point sources near the ranch 
were being taken up by forage plants in great enough 
quantity to inhibit the metabolizing of selenium by cat- 
tle. Other stack emissions, including arsenic, mercury, 
cadmium, thallium, copper, zinc, and silver, can also 
affect selenium intake by animals (Van Fleet 1976). 
There are no studies or indications that we are aware of 
that cattle near power plants would not feed on the 
grass that is available. 

The Mandan power plant in question was con- 
structed prior to existing federal regulations governing 
the emissions of coal-fired electrical generating facili- 
ties. Emissions from plants constructed following the 
Ft. Union coal lease would be considerably less. Under 
current emissions limitations, sulfur dioxide and sulfate 
produced by additional coal-fired facilities would be 
much lower in magnitude and may not inhibit the 
metabolism of selenium and other trace elements, if 
emissions standards are not exceeded. 

At the Colstrip generating facility in southeastern 
Montana, a long-term air quality study, "The Bioenvi- 
ronmental Impact Of A Coal-fired Power Plant," was 
initiated in 1975 by the National Environmental 
Research Laboratory of the Environmental Protection 



3-9 



Agency. In a report on findings of this research (Lud- 
wick et al. 1 981 ), it was concluded "Although the Col- 
strip power plant plumes have been clearly identified, 
the quantitative levels of sulfur dioxide are very low . . . 
we are dealing in the parts per billion range . . . Subtle 
effects on the biota, with time, have been noted." 

In a related southeastern Montana study 
(Heitschmidt et al. 1978), where sulphur dioxide was 
applied to western wheatgrass at levels exceeding ten 
times the allowable emission standards, it was 
observed that "sulfur dioxide did not significantly alter 
the net production of above-ground parts, the growth 
rates of above-ground parts, net assimilation rates, nor 
did they effect the leaf area ratios of either western 
wheatgrass or the entire community. The effects of 
SO2 on leaf growth, and the N:S ratios in plant material, 
indicated that there may be sulfur deficiency in the 
grassland studied." 

Similar results have been reported in Wyoming 
(Bridgman and Long 1 976) and in Arizona (Davis, et al. 
1966). A study (Ferenbaugh 1978) on the more sus- 
ceptible species Indian rice grass, Oryzopsis hyme- 
noides, found no deleterious effects with sulfur dioxide 
levels within emissions standards. "At concentrations 
below .13 ppm the sulfur dioxide appeared to have a 
beneficial effect on productivity." 

While at present the results of sulfur dioxide stu- 
dies would indicate that there should not be a measur- 
able effect on grasslands if power plants are properly 
constructed with sulfur dioxide emissions rates which 
do not exceed current air quality standards. Presten 
(1979) has observed "the native grassland system 
responds slowly to sulfur dioxide exposure. Early 
responses are subtle . . . There is a real danger in 
attempting to extrapolate the results of these studies to 
a time scale of decades. The grassland system in the 
study plots may adapt with no long-term damage. This 
ecosystem is progressing to a new equlibrium . . . 
Effects could over a period of decades cause substan- 
tial changes in the capacity of the system to support 
grazing pressure at today's levels." 

Within the north-central Great Plains, there pres- 
ently are no studies being funded in the area of bioen- 
vironmental effects of acid rain. Under auspices of the 
Association of State Agricultural Experiment Stations 
of the North Central Region, two monitoring stations 
have been established in Montana under the National 
Atmospheric Deposition Program. The North Dakota 
State Department of Health, with funding support by 
the BLM, is carrying out research on acid rain emis- 
sions in North Dakota. An atlas produced by the pro- 
gram, "Distribution of Surface Waters Sensitive to 
Acidic Precipitation," indicates that waters in the region 
tend to be highly buffered and therefore highly resistant 
to changes in pH due to acid rain. 

As indicated in the Draft EIS, the calcareous soils 
of the Ft. Union region also are highly buffered against 
acid rain effects. Direct effects of acid precipitation on 
vegetation, and particularly upon the cereal grain crops, 



in the Ft. Union region has yet to be studied in depth. 
Indications from studies in other geographic areas 
where acid rain occurs would lead to the conclusion 
that data from such studies in the Ft. Union region 
would be essential to a full understanding of air pollu- 
tion effects on the environment from coal-fired energy 
facilities. See response 1 9 for additional discussions on 
air quality. 

RESPONSE 68. See response 64 concerning rec- 
lamation of woody draws and response 29 concerning 
wetlands. 

RESPONSE 69. The guarantee that energy would be 
produced or that consumers would have to pay for 
project failures is beyond the scope of this document. 
Permitting facilities is a state responsibility and rates are 
set by state public utility or public service commissions 
and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. 

RESPONSE 70. See response 31 concerning the 
purpose of the Draft EIS and the need to lease federal 
coal. 

RESPONSE 7 1 . The thirty day extension for public 
comment could not be accommodated in order to 
meet the schedule established for the Ft. Union coal 
sale. The comment period was extended ten days to 
allow for additional comments on the air quality sup- 
plement. 

RESPONSE 72. See response 63 concerning off site 
impacts. 

RESPONSE 73. See response 31 concerning the 
purpose of the Draft EIS and the need to lease coal. 

RESPONSE 74. The population figures used in the 
Site Specific Analyses and the Draft EIS for Alternative 
3 were developed under different developmental and 
analytical assumptions, so it is difficult to compare 
these figures. 

The Regional Coal Team determined the Draft EIS 
would only address regional implications of the pro- 
posed Meridian exchange in relation to Alternative 3. 
The Draft EIS shows population implications resulting 
from the exchange under Alternative 3 on pages 142 
and 1 43. A specific population forecast for the Meridian 
exchange was not made. 

A mistake was made in copying baseline popula- 
tion figures (Alternative 1 ) for McCone County in the Air 
Quality Supplement. The figure on page SA-1 1 should 
indicate a population of 2,773 for McCone County in 
the year 2000. See Modifications and Corrections sec- 
tion, Air Quality Supplement, Appendix H. 

RESPONSE 75. The Regional Coal Team did not 
consider two 85,000 BBL/day synfuel plants to be a 
viable alternative. 



3-10 



The various end-use facilities are numerous and 
depend on a variety of uncontrollable factors. The coal 
is lignite and crumbles during transportation, therefore 
the best utilization is mine-mouth conversion to electric 
power or some type of synfuel conversion plant (lique- 
faction or gasification). The actual end-use cannot be 
determined at this time. 

Approximately two years ago, this nation was 
experiencing a shortage of gasoline and prices were 
rising at an alarming rate. Actions were taken to start 
planning for providing alternative energy. Now, with a 
world oil glut, these alternative actions have been 
placed in a "wait and see" position. New electric power 
generation facilities have been drastically cut back and 
future planning is more cautious. 

Building gasification plants has been extremely 
expensive and the price of natural gas has not risen to 
make a plant cost effective. If natural gas continues to 
rise at its current rate or if technology changes, this type 
of plant may become feasible in the future. 

It is important to remember that market conditions 
and future changes in technology are the determining 
factors in deciding what type of plant would be devel- 
oped and when it would be developed. Industry must 
submit a mine plan permit EIS and a facility siting EIS 
before a plant is developed. When these are submitted, 
the impacts associated with development can accu- 
rately and specifically be identified. 

RESPONSE 76. The Draft EIS predicts that air qual- 
ity standards for sulfur dioxide and suspended particu- 
lates would be exceeded in certain areas if imple- 
mented as described in alternatives and assumptions. 
Implementation will not be permitted by state agencies 
unless each specific applicant can provide control 
measures to stay within the standards or can show that 
the degree to which the standard is exceeded would 
have no adverse impacts. 

RESPONSE 77. The fiscal projections appearing on 
page A- 18 of the Draft EIS assume that coal in the 
Wibaux-Beach tracts would be mined in both states at 
the same time. This assumption was made to conduct 
the analysis in the absence of a mining plan. Conversa- 
tions with Dennis Sandburg of Tenneco Coal, Glendive, 
Montana in August and December of 1982, indicate 
that this assumption is appropriate from Tenneco's 
standpoint. 

RESPONSE 78. In each tract area, soil potential for 
suitable plant growth material following surface mining 
was evaluated using the National Soils Handbook 
standards listed in the SCS technical guides. 

Two separate lifts of soil are necessary in removing 
soil material from prime farmland that would be mined. 
In Montana and North Dakota, topsoil must be 
removed and stored separately from overburden. 
When the soil is respread during reclamation, the mate- 
rial must be replaced in its original order. In Montana, 



the approximate original contours of the land must also 
be restored. It was estimated that sufficient suitable 
plant growth material of good to fair quality would be 
available within the upper 60 inches of topsoil to 
respread tract areas disturbed as a result of mining. All 
lands must have agricultural productivity restored to 
within 90 percent of pre-mining productivity levels. 

Based on the analysis described above, the provi- 
sions of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation 
Act and all applicable state stipulations, it was esti- 
mated that sufficient suitable plant growth material of 
good to fair quality would be available within the upper 
60 inches of topsoil to respread tract areas disturbed 
during mining activities to a depth of 20 to 57 inches. 
An exception is the Zenith tract with only 1 6 inches of 
good to fair quality material within the top 60 inches. 
While it is recognized that soil series with less than these 
averages occur within the various tracts, the averaging 
of suitable material in respreading would compensate 
for these areas. In these instances, it would be possible 
for an area's post-mining soil profile to contain substan- 
tially greater quantities of suitable plant growth material 
than presently exists there. See also response 64 con- 
cerning reclamation of woody draws. 

RESPONSE 79. The social changes anticipated in 
the event of coal development are discussed by each 
alternative in the Impacts section of the Draft EIS. 
Under some alternatives these impacts are predicted to 
be significant. Appendix G illustrates the population 
influx which would accompany Ft. Union coal devel- 
opment. It is expected that many of the jobs (primary 
and especially secondary) would go to local people. 

RESPONSE 80. See response 31 concerning the 
purpose of the Draft EIS and the need to develop 
federal coal. 

RESPONSE 81. References are listed in a separate 
section following the appendices in the Draft EIS. 
Where a specific information source is used in the text, 
the reference is noted. Nineteen research and data 
sources for water were used during the preparation of 
the document and are listed in the water section of the 
reference list (page R-2). The primary sources for water 
information are cited throughout the narrative on pages 
103-107. 

The methodologies, assumptions, limitations and 
authorities used in the air quality analysis are presented 
in the Air Quality Supplement (pages S-12, S-14, S-15, 
S- 16 and R-l and R-22). Evaluation of these technically 
complex subjects is difficult, so independent reviews 
were performed by technical organizations, including 
state agencies and the U.S. Environmental Protection 
Agency. 

Assumptions for facilities were based upon the 
experience of industry. The basis for the water needs 
comes from Basin Electric Cooperative's experience in 
planning, designing, and constructing of electric qen- 



3-11 



eration facilities. The water needs for gasification and 
liquefaction facilities were based on the designs of 'he 
Great Plains Coal Gasification Project and the Nokota 
Company's Dunn-Nokota Methanol Project. The same 
approach was used in developing the air emission rates 
and employment figures. All information for the facili- 
ties was developed in this manner and compared with 
other similar projects planned throughout the nation. 
Where a specific project was planned, available infor- 
mation from industry was used. Similar types of sour- 
ces were used in analysis of other resource impacts. 

RESPONSE 82. The information supplied by Meri- 
dian Land and Mineral Company is found on page 60 of 
the Draft EIS in the middle of the second column. 
Meridian felt this was the only alternative over which it 
would have direct control should development occur. 
The expansion to the 85,000 barrel-per-day methanol 
facility was an assumption by BLM that the initial facility 
could be expanded because of the available coal 
reserves. This assumption was made to analyze the 
worst case situations of development for one tract. The 
date of construction (Table 1-11) was for initial con- 
struction and was furnished by Meridian. 

RESPONSE 83. The preferred alternative selected 
by the RCT was prepared to provide the level of produc- 
tion necessary to meet the leasing target established by 
the Secretary of the Interior. The project staff had pre- 
pared for the RCT a level of production which would be 
expected for the region. This expected level of produc- 
tion was just below 800 million tons. The other alterna- 
tives can be compared to the preferred alternative and 
the impacts viewed with regard to the RCT's preference. 
One of the reasons for selecting a preferred alternative 
is to give the public an idea of what can be expected and 
provide a basis for the comparison of impacts if another 
alternative is chosen. 

RESPONSE 84. The statements in the Air Quality 
Supplement on pages S- 1 6 and S-27 about cumulative 
24-hour average (ambient) TSP concentrations and 
allowable Class II increments, pertain to two different 
types of standards. This is explained on pages S-8 to 
S-10 of the Air Quality Supplement. 

The statements on pages S-36, S-37, and S-41 
about the effects of acid precipitation on wat_ quality 
conclude on page S-41 that "indirect effects ... on 
water quality resulting from air pollution will likely be 
insignificant." This is a best scientific judgement made 
on current information even though that information is 
inadequate to enable quantitative evaluation. 

Regarding the statements about the effects of 
radioactive and other trace elements, it is not unreason- 
able to expect some cumulative long-term effects. 
These effects would not necessarily be significantly 
harmful, and they cannot be accurately predicted from 
available knowledge. The effects of radioactive emis- 
sions are expected to be insignificant as explained on 
page S-39 of the Air Quality Supplement. 



Also see response 31 concerning the purpose of 
the Draft EIS and the need to lease federal coal. 

RESPONSE 85. See response 7 1 concerning the Ft. 
Union schedule. 

RESPONSE 86. Economic impacts of coal devel- 
opment on farms and ranches in Montana and North 
Dakota were estimated from a gross income aspect 
and from the net income disruptions which could 
occur. The purpose was to estimate the economic 
impacts on agricultural production and incomes, the 
effects on the stability of operations, and effects on the 
welfare of farm and ranch families during potential coal 
development. The economic analysis was divided into 
two segments: ( 1 ) the impact on management, opera- 
tion, gross sales, and net incomes by taking cropland 
and grazing land out of production; and (2) potential 
impacts on agricultural production, sales, and net 
income as a result of mining each tract. Also analyzed 
was how individual farm and ranch operations and the 
operator's family would be affected as the tract is 
mined. 

In estimating net income effects, information was 
gathered about each operational unit including the por- 
tions of each operation inside and outside the proposed 
coal mining tracts. Also gathered were data on crop 
and pasture yields, rental rates, land values, livestock 
production rates, grazing fees, and other organization 
and input features. 

Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of 
Agriculture, utilized an ongoing national cost-of- 
production study in developing the analysis. This study 
develops representative cost of production budgets for 
crop enterprises by type of farming areas in the United 
States. Crop enterprise budgets for areas within Mon- 
tana and North Dakota were utilized. These representa- 
tive operation budgets did include estimates for 
machinery costs. 

RESPONSE 87. The state-of-the-art in mined land 
reclamation is further discussed in responses 29 and 
64. 

The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act 
(SMCRA) was enacted in 1977. Federal reclamation 
requirements and state regulations instituted since that 
time provide for a 1 0-year period following revegetation 
prior to application for bonding release. Mining and 
reclamation activities which fall under the provisions of 
SMCRA would not be subject to review of reclamation 
successes before 1 987. The legal question of reclama- 
tion will not be resolved until that time. Reclamation 
would be reviewed on a case-by-case basis for each 
bond release application. 

Lands which are summer fallowed, plowed, and 
tilled but left unseeded during a growing season are a 
major element in the dryland farming operations of the 
existing environment. These lands left bare of vegeta- 
tion for a full year in the dryfarming cycle constitute 40 
to 50 percent, on the average, of the dryland acreage in 



3-12 



any given year. Any assessment of air pollution effects 
and erosional impacts resulting from mining must be 
discussed within the broader context of existing non- 
point sources of pollution such as the vast acreages of 
summer fallow that occur in the area. 

Although in the short term soil disturbance during 
peak mining years would somewhat exceed that 
acreage presently left bare due to annual summer fal- 
low, reclamation regulations specify that stockpiled 
materials must be stabilized and protected with a cover 
of quick growing plants or other means so that the 
topsoil is preserved. 

Also see response 31 concerning the purpose of 
the Draft EIS and the need to lease federal coal. 

RESPONSE 88. The amount of water committed to 
coal development as a result of leasing federal coal is 
shown in Tables 1-5 through 1-1 1 , pp. 52-62 of the Draft 
EIS. The water needs of the mine could be taken from 
impoundments and the Fox Hills aquifer without affect- 
ing the water supplies of surrounding farms or ranches. 
The quantity of water required fcr the facilities would 
have to be taken from the Yellowstone/Missouri river 
system. Studies by state and federal agencies show that 
this amount of water would be available. The states of 
Montana and North Dakota have the responsibility of 
permitting specific water uses. 

RESPONSE 89. See response 7 1 concerning the Ft. 
Union schedule. 

RESPONSE 90. See response 31 concerning the 
purpose of the Draft EIS and the need for leasing 
federal coal. 

RESPONSE 9 1 . The Ft. Gnion Draft EIS is a regional 
assessment and as such is not meant to quantify 
impacts to the degree your comment suggests, how- 
ever, many of the studies and analyses completed in the 
course of preparing the Draft EIS are quantitative and 
identify as far as possible the severity of impacts. 

Prior to issuing mining permits and facility con- 
struction and operating permits, more detailed anal- 
yses will be completed. It is at this stage that the detailed 
information regarding mining plans and facilities 
becomes available. 

Severity of impacts is discussed in the Draft EIS 
and its supporting documents including the Site Spe- 
cific Analysis for each tract, the Air Quality Supplement, 
and the Agricultural Economic tract reports. 
Responses to comments generated during the Draft 
EIS review period contribute to detail and significances 
of the impacts in a number of areas, especially for air 
quality, agriculture, and water resources. 

RESPONSE 92. The potential impacts of air pollu- 
tion and acid rain are discussed in the Air Quality 
Supplement. 



All toxic wastes will have to be disposed in sites 
approved by state and federal agencies. There are 
hazardous waste disposal sites within the Ft. Gnion 
region and they have caused no problems (North 
Dakota State Health Department). These sites are 
designed to ensure that the toxic wastes are isolated 
from the hydrologic systems. Disposal of toxic wastes 
would cause no significant impact to water resources, 
agriculture, or the general public. Water quality degra- 
dation is discussed in the Draft EIS on pages 105 and 
106. 

RESPONSE 93. See response 63 concerning off-site 
impacts. 

RESPONSE 94. Chapter 5 of the Draft EIS provides 
a list of all of the personnel involved in the Ft. Gnion 
Regional EIS. Gnder each name is provided a descrip- 
tion of the individual's background and experience plus 
a description of the responsibilities each had in the 
preparation of the document. These descriptions point 
out who was responsible for preparing the various sec- 
tions as well as identifying the contractor for the Air 
Quality section and the contractor's personnel. 



RESPONSE 95. 

Gnion schedule. 



See response 71 concerning the Ft. 



RESPONSE 96. The Draft EIS stated that it would 
only address the regional implications of the Meridian 
exchange as it was related to Alternative 3. An environ- 
mental assessment of the exchange proposal has been 
prepared by the Miles City BLM District Office. A separ- 
ate section addressing impacts of the Meridian 
exchange on Alternative 3 has been prepared for each 
environmental component. These individual write-ups 
can be found on pages 107, 121, 127, 130, 132, 134, 
135, 142, and 151 of the Draft EIS. 



RESPONSE 97. 

impacts. 



See response 63 concerning off-site 



RESPONSE 98. Impacts of transmission lines, pipe- 
lines, and railroad rights-of-way would have some effect 
on ranches and other operations, but quantification of 
these effects cannot be gauged in this document 
because the actual location of the facilities is unknown. 
The effect of utilities and transportation facilities on 
ranch operations bears study at a more site-specific 
level. It has also been recognized that land use would 
change both qualitatively and quantitatively and the 
number of unknowns is related to the scale of the study. 
These and other gaps in the analysis of coal min- 
ing must be studied when more specific proposals are 
in hand. Some problems would yield to engineering 
solutions but others would not. These options cannot 
be explored until the proposals are known simply 
because the problems are not limited and are too 



3-13 



numerous to be practically explored at this time. Tables 
1-5 through 1-1 1 on pages 52 through 61 of the Draft 
EIS indicate the amount of land used for each synfuel 
plant would be 960 acres. 

An exact assessment of the taxpayer burden from 
a mix of tracts and facilities cannot be made at this time 
because of a number of unknown factors. These 
include, but are not limited to: (a) company mining 
plan, (b) infrastructure system capacity at the time of 
construction, and (c) conversion tax rate for liquefac- 
tion facilities. All of the above items will be further 
examined and solutions to problems pursued in separ- 
ate EIS documents at the Mine Plan stage and through 
the plant siting process of the applicable State. 

See also response 19 concerning air pollution, 
responses 29 and 64 on reclamation; response 96 on 
the Meridian exchange; and response 140 on water 
quality. 

RESPONSE 99. The Air Quality Supplement points 
out the nature of possible impacts from acid precipita- 
tion, along with several indications that such impacts 
may not be serious in the Ft. Union Region. There are 
still many unanswered questions about acid precipita- 
tion, making it impossible to currently evaluate impacts 
more fully at this time. Much research on this subject is 
currently under way and in time will enable a better 
understanding. 

RESPONSE 100. It is not known what wastes, 
hazardous and non-hazardous, would be produced by 
synthetic fuel facilities. It is difficult to identify wastes 
even when a specific process is proposed. For example, 
the gasification project underway north of Beulah, 
North Dakota, has yet to identify wastes to the state of 
North Dakota. The Nokota Company has stated its 
coal-to-methanol process will produce no waste mate- 
rials classified as hazardous by EPA. 

Since synthetic fuel facilites have the potential to 
produce hazardous wastes, it was assumed hazardous 
waste would result when considering the generic facili- 
ties in the Draft EIS. The EPA has research underway to 
evaluate the effects of toxic pollutants from synfuel 
plants (see page S-37 of the Air Quality Supplement). 
Also see response 92 concerning air pollution and 
response 99 concerning acid rain. 

RESPONSE 101. See response 100 concerning 
wastes. 

RESPONSE 102. See response 100 concerning 
wastes. 

RESPONSE 103. See response number 84 con- 
cerning air quality and response 31 concerning the 
purpose of the Draft EIS and the need to lease federal 
coal. 

RESPONSE 104. See response 140 concerning 
changes in water quality as a result of mining. 



RESPONSE 1 05. See response 54 concerning trace 
element emissions. 

RESPONSE 106. County budget items were not 
covered in the analysis of community-specific fiscal 
impacts. The fiscal impact numbers shown in Appen- 
dix H of the Draft EIS portray only the expenditures 
which could be directly attributable to communities as 
a result of population growth. 

RESPONSE 1 07. A one percent disruption of agri- 
cultural production within the affected counties of the 
Ft. Onion region would not, in the short term, signifi- 
cantly affect the survival of the agricultural industry in 
the region. Also see response 62 concerning fluctua- 
tions in production. 

RESPONSE 1 08. The Draft EIS has been prepared 
in accordance with regulations implementing the 
National Environmental Policy Act. These regulations 
encourage agencies to tier their environmental state- 
ments to eliminate repetitive discussion of issues. 
Whenever a broad EIS has been prepared such as the 
coal programmatic EIS, subsequent EISs incorporate 
discussions from this statement by reference. This is 
done to reduce the size of documents. "When an 
agency is evaluating significant adverse effects on the 
human environment in an environmental impact 
statement, and there are gaps in relevant information or 
scientific uncertainty, the agency shall always make 
clear that such information is lacking or that uncertainty 
exists." (40 CFR Part 1 502.22).The Ft. Union Draft EIS 
has analyzed the best data available and has pointed 
out where uncertainty exists and information is lacking. 
If additional actions are taken, additional environmental 
analyses would have to be prepared. 

RESPONSE 1 09. The RCT ranked the tracts based 
on three major categories as required by law: coal 
economics, impacts to natural environment, and social 
and economic considerations. Within each of these 
major categories several subfactors were examined at 
the RCT meeting on November 3 and 4, 1 982, see the 
Modifications and Corrections section. Appendix K. 
The concerns about ranking presented in this com- 
ment were addressed in these subfactors. The Ft. 
Gnion project staff provided a briefing for the RCT on 
each of the subfactors as they related to the tracts. It was 
on this basis that the RCT made its ranking decision. 

RESPONSE 110. The correction has been made. 
See the Modifications and Corrections Section, Intro- 
duction. 

RESPONSE 111. The correction has been made. 
See the Modifications and Corrections section, Chapter 
2, Wildlife. 



RESPONSE 112. Corrections have been made. See 
the Modifications and Corrections Section, Appendix B. 



3-14 



RESPONSE 1 1 3. The information in the Westech 
report was used by the Miles City District Office for the 
application of Gnsuitability Criteria during planning. 
The document was not quoted in the Draft EIS so it was 
not listed in the references. 

RESPONSE 1 14. The Regional Coal Team consid- 
ered the exchange proposal in the Draft EIS in order to 
discuss the regional implications of the exchange in 
relation to Alternative 3. The discussion of the 
exchange was based upon information available aUhe 
time. New information will not be covered in the Final 
EIS since a separate, site-specific environmental analy- 
sis for the exchange proposal has been prepared by the 
Miles City District BLM Office. The preferred alternative 
selected by the RCT for the Draft EIS states that if the 
exchange takes place, then the coal acquired by the 
federal government would replace the tonnage in the 
Circle West III tract. A decision on the exchange is not 
within the purview of this EIS. 

RESPONSE 115. On October 19, 1982, the 
Regional Coal Team stated the preferred alternative 
would be the previously selected preferred alternative. 
The team agreed that if the exchange proposal is 
accepted, the preferred alternative would drop the Cir- 
cle West III tract and add the federal tract resulting from 
the exchange. This decision was made by the RCT after 
the Draft EIS was published. 

RESPONSE 1 1 6. Alluvial valley floor (AVF) unsuita- 
bility criteria cover both surface irrigated and subsur- 
face irrigated hay and crop land. 

All references to AVFs throughout the Draft EIS 
are preliminary determinations. These were identified 
according to guidelines developed by the Office of 
Surface Mining (August 1978). This procedure delin- 
eates areas where AVF may occur (preliminary AVF) 
and areas where AVF criteria does not apply (all other 
areas). Within the area designated as a preliminary 
AVF, no land is being withheld from leasing. However, 
this identification does indicate the area may be 
declared unsuitable at the mine plan stage. All prelimi- 
nary alluvial valley floor determinations were made in 
conjunction with the Office of Surface Mining. See also 
response 1 09 on tract ranking and response 4 on water. 

RESPONSE 117. See response 5 concerning lignite 
and end-use facilities. 

RESPONSE 1 1 8. The mix of alternatives in the Draft 
EIS, especially Alternatives 5 and 6, do not allow a 
comparison of the direct effects upon Circle, Montana 
resulting from the development of the Redwater and 
Circle West tracts/facilities. 

RESPONSE 1 1 9. The Draft EIS does not state that 
the Redwater tracts would be more difficult to reclaim 
than Circle West. The site-specific tract analysis used 



the National Soils Handbook standards and evaluated a 
60-inch soil profile. This analysis found that mined land 
could be respread with good to fair potential for plant 
growth material. Information in the following tables 
indicates the Redwater tracts may have better reclama- 
tion potential than Circle West tracts. 



SOILS AND RECLAMATION POTENTIAL, REDWATER 
AND CIRCLE WEST TRACTS 



Tract 



Percentage Soil Reclamation Potential 
Good Fair Poor Unsuitable 



Redwater 1 


15 


3 


38 


14 


Redwater II 


14 


37 


35 


14 


Circle West 1 


7 


25 


46 


22 


Circle West II 


8 


26 


34 


32 


Circle West III 


7 


25 


40 


28 



DEPTH OF GOOD TO FAIR PLANT GROWTH 
/MATERIAL 



Tract 



Depth 



Redwater I 
Redwater II 
Circle West I 
Circle West II 
Circle West 111 



29 inches 
31 inches 

19 inches 

20 inches 
19 inches 



RESPONSE 1 20. The affect of the proposed Meri- 
dian exchange on consenting landowners has been 
addressed in the Meridian Exchange Environmental 
Assessment published by the Miles City District BLM 
Office. 

RESPONSE 121. All ownerships must be cleared 
prior to the exchange being finalized. Also see response 
1 20 concerning the proposed Meridian exchange. 

RESPONSE 1 22. At the time the Draft EIS was pre- 
pared BLM had not received information from Mobil Oil 
on the Burns Creek tract nor did BLM have unsuitability 
information related to the tract that would have 
excluded it from consideration. The Burns Creek tract 
was, therefore, left in as part of the preferred alternative. 
Burns Creek has since been removed from the alterna- 
tives. See response 1 09 regarding tract ranking. 

RESPONSE 1 23. Although the RCT recommended 
a preferred alternative for meeting the leasing target, 
the Secretary of the Interior will make the final decision 
on which tracts will be made available for leasing. It is 
possible that all tracts could be made available since 
some of the tracts may not be leased due to a lack of 
surface owner consents. 



RESPONSE 124. 

lie input. 



See response 59 concerning pub- 



3-15 



RESPONSE 125. See response 31 concerning the 
purpose of the Draft EIS and the need to lease federal 
coal. 

RESPONSE 1 26. See response 61 concerning coal 
tonnages. 

RESPONSE 1 27. See response 62 concerning crop 
and livestock production. 

RESPONSE 128. See response 63 concerning off- 
site impacts. 

RESPONSE 129. See responses 29 and 64 con- 
cerning reclamation. 

RESPONSE 1 30. See response 65 concerning dust 
pollution. 

RESPONSE 131. See response 66 concerning 
springs and wells. 

RESPONSE 1 32. See response 67 concerning sul- 
fur dioxide emissions. 

RESPONSE 1 33. See response 64 concerning rec- 
lamation. 



RESPONSE 134. 

energy production. 



See response 69 concerning 



RESPONSE 135. See response 31 concerning the 
purpose of the Draft EIS and the need to lease federal 
coal. 



caused the altered water chemistry in the spoils can 
also change the water chemistry as it moves from the 
spoils back into the undisturbed aquifer system. Undis- 
turbed water in the surrounding aquifer will be mixing 
with the altered water resulting in dilution. Because the 
quantification of this geochemical process has still not 
been defined and because of the typically complex 
makeup of the overburden material, it is impossible to 
say it would take 100 feet, a quarter mile, a mile, or 
whatever, before the altered water returns to its approx- 
imate pre-mined condition. 

The limit placed on the movement of altered water 
quality in this document was an attempt to find a gen- 
eral maximum impact zone. The limits are the profes- 
sional opinion of the Draft EIS hydrologist after discus- 
sions with scientists of the U.S. Geological Survey and 
the North Dakota Geological Survey. Some scientists 
believe that this impact zone would be much smaller. 
There is no experience to indicate that this impact 
could not extend beyond the limits suggested, however, 
it is the opinion of the scientific community that this 
would be unlikely. 

RESPONSE 141. See response 31 on the purpose 
of the Draft EIS and need to lease federal coal. 

RESPONSE 142. See response 82 concerning the 
proposed Meridian exchange. 

RESPONSE 143. See response 83 concerning the 
preferred alternative. 

RESPONSE 144. See response 84 concerning air 
quality. 



RESPONSE 136. See response 76 concerning air 
quality. 



RESPONSE 145. See response 71 concerning the 
Ft. Union schedule. 



RESPONSE 1 37. See response 77 concerning fiscal 
projections. 



RESPONSE 1 46. See response 86 concerning eco- 
nomic impacts. 



RESPONSE 138. See response 31 concerning the 
purpose of the Draft EIS and the need to lease federal 
coal. 

RESPONSE 139. See response 81 concerning ref- 
erences. 

RESPONSE 140. Researchers have identified 
changes in water quality in the replaced spoils at a 
number of sites in the Ft. Union region. The result of 
what happens to this water as it moves through the 
system has never been observed. This is primarily 
because of the limited number of years of research, the 
slow movement of groundwater, and the fact that pre- 
vious mining has occurred on a small scale. 

Once the changes in water chemistry were identi- 
fied, the process of geochemical reactions that led to 
the changes were identified. This same process that 



RESPONSE 147. See responses 29 and 64 con- 
cerning reclamation. 

RESPONSE 148. See response 88 concerning 
water. 

RESPONSE 149. See response 71 concerning the 
Ft. Union schedule. 

RESPONSE 150. See response 31 concerning the 
purpose of the Draft EIS and the need to lease federal 
coal. 

RESPONSE 151. See response 122 concerning the 
Burns Creek Tract. 

RESPONSE 152. See response 92 concerning air 
quality and acid rain. 



3-16 



RESPONSE 1 53. See response 63 concerning off- 
site impacts. 

RESPONSE 154. See response 94 concerning the 
preparation of the Draft EIS. 

RESPONSE 155. See response 71 concerning the 
Ft. Union schedule. 

RESPONSE 1 56. See response 96 concerning the 
proposed Meridian exchange. 

RESPONSE 157. See response 63 concerning the 
off-site impacts. 

RESPONSE 1 58. See response 98 concerning the 
impacts of transmissions lines and rights-of-way. 

RESPONSE 1 59. See response 99 concerning acid 
rain. 



RESPONSE 1 73. See response 1 1 3 concerning the 
Westech report. 

RESPONSE 1 74. See response 1 1 4 concerning the 
proposed Meridian exchange. 

RESPONSE 1 75. See response 1 1 5 concerning the 
preferred alternative. 

RESPONSE 176. See response 116 concerning 
alluvial valley floors. 

RESPONSE 1 77. See response 5 concerning lignite 
and end-use facilities. 

RESPONSE 1 78. See response 1 1 8 concerning the 
Redwater and Circle West tracts. 

RESPONSE 1 79. See response 1 1 9 concerning the 
Redwater and Circle West tracts. 



RESPONSE 160. See response 100 concerning 
wastes. 

RESPONSE 161. See response 100 concerning 
wastes. 

RESPONSE 162. See response 100 concerning 
wastes. 



RESPONSE 1 80. See response 1 20 concerning the 
proposed Meridian exchange. 

RESPONSE 181. See response 1 2 1 concerning the 
proposed Meridian exchange. 

RESPONSE 1 82. See response 1 22 concerning the 
Burns Creek tract. 



RESPONSE 163. See response 84 concerning air 
quality. 

RESPONSE 164. See response 140 concerning 
water quality. 

RESPONSE 1 65. See response 54 concerning trace 
element emissions. 

RESPONSE 1 66. See response 1 06 concerning fis- 
cal impacts. 

RESPONSE 167. See response 107 concerning 
agricultural production. 

RESPONSE 168. See response 108 concerning 
NEPA regulations. 

RESPONSE 169. See response 109 concerning 
tract ranking. 

RESPONSE 170. See response 110 concerning 
corrections and modifications. 

RESPONSE 171. See response 111 concerning 
corrections and modifications. 



RESPONSE 183. See response 123 concerning 
leasing. 

RESPONSE 184. See response 31 on the purpose 
of the Draft EIS and the need to lease federal coal. 

RESPONSE 185. Significant agricultural and com- 
munity impacts were addressed in the Draft EIS. See 
responses 19, 63, 64 and 67 regarding agricultural 
impacts. 

The social impacts were prepared using the Guide 
to Social Impact Assessment developed by Mountain 
West Research, Inc., under contract with BLM. This 
methodology was specifically designed to assess the 
impacts of energy development on rural western 
communities. It focuses on the impacts of the project, 
inputs on social well-being, and social organization 
given the community's resources. Ten rural western 
communities that experienced energy-related growth 
during the 1970s were examined during the develop- 
ment of the Guide. The Guide reflects the types of 
impacts that have actually occurred in areas under- 
going energy-related change. The changes in com- 
munity social organization and social well-being are 
predicted to be significant under some alternatives in 
this Draft EIS. 



RESPONSE 1 72. See response 1 1 2 concerning 
corrections and modifications. 



RESPONSE 186. See response 98 concerning the 
impacts of transmission lines, pipelines, and rights-of- 
way. 



317 



RESPONSE 187. See response 18 concerning well 
systems. 

RESPONSE 1 88. The route studies in the Draft EIS 
indicate the potential impact to the highway systems of 
the area. Once plant and mine sites are established, 
other routes might be more desireable. The average 
annual daily traffic volumes used here could be used for 
those other roads to provide an indication of any poten- 
tial problem areas, however, more specific projects or 
mining plans have to be developed. 

RESPONSE 189. Population projections showed 
that Wolf Point would be marginally impacted by devel- 
opment. Subsequent discussions with the Wolf Point 
city planner indicated that the community infrastruc- 
ture could easily handle the forecasted population 
influx. Impacts from crime are discussed in the Draft 
EIS on pages 143-152 under Social Well Being, and 
poaching and possible mitigating measures are dis- 
cussed on page 125. See response 188 regarding traf- 
fic routes. 

RESPONSE 190. See response 63 on off site 
impacts and response 86 for economic impacts to 
agriculture. 

RESPONSE 191. See reponse 62 for off-site agricul- 
tural impacts, and response 86 for economic impacts 
to agriculture. 

RESPONSE 192. See response 18 for disrupted 
water sources and response 66 for replacing water 
wells. 

RESPONSE 1 93. See response 59 on public involve- 
ment. 



assumptions were based on results from ongoing rec- 
lamation studies in the region, also see response 64. 
"Long term" with regard to agricultural production 
would be 10 years after initial reclamation efforts in 
North Dakota and 15 years in Montana. "Long term" 
with regard to the entire tract would be about 50 years in 
order to consider the life of the mine and the total 
reclamation effort. 

RESPONSE 200. The economic impact analysis 
allows for an assessment of what would happen to the 
community's population if abandonment occurred. 
This is reflected in the baseline population forecast 
included in each graphic. If abandonment occurred 
during the construction or operation phase, the impact 
values shown would revert to the baseline values and 
the construction or operation work force would leave 
the area. 

Communities could be faced with public service 
funding problems if service capacity expanded to 
accommodate the large, development-related work- 
force. This is part of the uncertainty a community faces 
when confronted with local energy development. It is 
extremely difficult to quantify the extent to which any 
given community would be impacted if abandonment 
were to occur since a tremendous number of variables 
come into consideration in an analysis of that sort. 
Because of this, it is not possible to predict, on a 
community-by-community basis, the impacts asso- 
ciated with abandonment of a major energy project. 



RESPONSE 201. 

tract ranking. 



See response 109 concerning 



RESPONSE 202. The change has been made. See 
in the Modifications and Corrections section, Chapter 3, 
Water. 



RESPONSE 194. See response 31 on the purpose 
of the Draft EIS and the need to develop coal. 

RESPONSE 1 95. See response 88 on the amount of 
water needed to develop coal. 

RESPONSE 196. See response 31 on the purpose 
of the Draft EIS and the need to lease coal. 

RESPONSE 197. See response 1 14 and response 
1 20 on the proposed Meridian exchange. 

RESPONSE 198. Any water sources that are dis- 
rupted in quantity or quality as a result of mining would 
have to be replaced by the mining company. Also see 
response 18. 

RESPONSE 199. For analysis purposes, a 10-year 
period for reclamation to federal and state standards 
was assumed in North Dakota. Since the Montana cli- 
mate is drier, a 15-year period was assumed. These 



RESPONSE 203. These changes have been made. 
See in the Modifications and Corrections section, Chap- 
ter 3, Water. 

RESPONSE 204. The difference in the number of 
sections of the Dunn Center tract eligible for National 
Register of Historic Places has been changed in the 
Modification and Corrections sections, Introduction. 

The Draft EIS contains several statements about 
the significance of the Knife River Flint Quarries. Specif- 
ically, on page 93, the quarries are described as being 
"of national significance in understanding prehistory." 
Additionally, page 128 of the Draft EIS describes the 
conflicts in the Dunn Center tract. 

The specific impacts of mining on the cultural sites 
of the Dunn Center tract would have to be dealt with 
prior to mining. As the commenter has pointed out, this 
could not be done through an "all or none program- 
matic approach." Measures designed on a site-specific 
basis would be needed to prevent adverse impacts to 
cultural resources. This kind of assessment would be 



3-18 



done at mine plan stage and coordinated through a 
review process that would include the developer, the 
Office of Surface Mining, and the State Historic Preser- 
vation Officer. 

The final comment by the Bureau of Reclamation 
noted the national significance of the Knife River Flint 
Quarries located on the Dunn Center tract. It expressed 
the hope that this issue would be resolved in the Draft 
EIS so that the Bureau of Reclamation Environmental 
Impact Statement on the siting of the coal-to-methanol 
plant would not have to supplement the cultural 
resource coverage. 

It is impossible to provide the details in a regional 
document which would avoid the need for more 
detailed coverage on a site specific action. The Draft 
EIS stated that impacts on sites outside the eligible 
National Register District could be mitigated by data 
recovery or other means (see especially the Modifica- 
tions and Corrections section). Because the plant site is 
located outside the National Register District boundary, 
presumably impacts on cultural sites could be mit- 
igated. However, the proposed utilities corridor for the 
plant site would pass through a portion of the eligible 
National Register District. Within that corridor, loca- 
tions of roads, pipelines, railroads, etc., are not yet 
specified. Without that information, the impact of facili- 
ties in the corridor on the National Register District sites 
cannot be assessed. Similarly, the efficacy of mitigation 
measures would not be addressable until the proposed 
action is more precisely defined. 

RESPONSE 205. Unsuitability determination is a 
part of the land use planning process and is not a part of 
activity planning which is what the Draft EIS addresses. 
The application of the unsuitability criteria has been 
completed for the Redwater, West-Central, and Golden 
Valley Management Framework Plans. The results of 
these applications were published and received a pub- 
lic review and comment period. The final determina- 
tions of the application of the unsuitability criteria are 
available from the Miles City and Dickinson District 
Offices. 

RESPONSE 206. The statement quoted is an 
assumption made for analytical purposes. How land 
would be used after mining would be determined in 
consultation with the surface landowner at the mine 
plan stage in accordance with the Surface Mining and 
Reclamation Act and applicable state regulations. The 
probability of achieving the required levels of post- 
mining agricultural productivity and woodlands recla- 
mation is discussed in response 64. Wetlands reclama- 
tion is discussed in response 29. See also page 1 24 of 
the Draft EIS. 

RESPONSE 207. See responses 29, 64, 87, and 206 
concerning reclamation. Also, seethe wildlife section of 
Chapter 3 of the Draft EIS, especially Alternatives 1, 2, 
and 5, for discussions of possible mitigating measures. 



See pages 1 23 and 1 24 of the Draft EIS for discussions 
of post mining land use. 

RESPONSE 208. Key species and valuable wildlife 
habitats are discussed in the site-specific analyses and 
are incorporated in this document by reference and 
tiering in accordance with regulations implementing 
the National Environmental Policy Act (40 CFR Parts 
1500-1508). 

RESPONSE 209. The North Dakota Game and Fish 
Department was contacted with regard to adverse 
impacts to fisheries. The impacts that were identified 
were incorporated in the Draft EIS. The information 
referred to in the comment was not included in the 
Draft EIS because no significant impacts to those 
resources were identified. 

An interagency team consisting of biologists from 
the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, G.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) — Bismarck Area 
Office and the Bureau of Land Management, Dickinson 
District Office provided the best habitat information 
available. Also, FWS and the North Dakota Game and 
Fish Department were represented in the wildlife work 
group and did not identify any significant impacts to 
these fisheries. 

RESPONSE 210. See response 67 concerning air 
pollution effects on plant and animal life. 



RESPONSE 211. The impact analysis for Alternative 
1 must be read within the context of this alternative as 
described on pages 49 and 50 of the Draft EIS. Briefly, 
the existing and permitted mines and facilities are part 
of the baseline. It was assumed that employment would 
not change since it was addressed in the approval and 
permitting process for the mines and facilities. 

RESPONSE 212. The reason much of the area 
would be destroyed should federal coal not be leased is 
because approximately 76% of these vegetative types 
for the three tracts listed is on private surface-private 
mineral. This information is supported by the habitat 
maps provided by the Fish and Wildlife Service and 
on-the-ground observations. 

RESPONSE 213. We agree that these problems 
exist, however, "With proper planning ..." as stated on 
page 1 24 of the Draft EIS, the management problems 
could be overcome. 

RESPONSE 214. It is our opinion that reclamation 
related to native prairie would be adequate for wildlife as 
stated on page 124 of the Draft EIS. 

RESPONSE 2 1 5. See responses 1 9, 63, 67, 92, and 

140 concerning off-site impacts. 



319 



RESPONSE 2 1 6. See responses 1 9, 62, 63, 67, and 

92 concerning off-site impacts to agriculture. 

RESPONSE 217. See response 185 concerning 
social impacts. 

RESPONSE 218. See response 31 concerning the 
purpose of the Draft EIS and the need to lease federal 
coal. 

RESPONSE 219. Cultural resources on or eligible 
for the National Register of Historic Places must be 
considered under federal coal leasing regulations. BLM 
operates under those regulations. In the course of 
compliance work for the Ft. Union Draft EIS, one area 
was determined eligible for the National Register of 
Historic Places, but no area has been proposed for 
formal addition to the National Register by this agency. 
The word "proposed" has been deleted. See the Modi- 
fications and Corrections section, Introduction. 

RESPONSE 220. The Dickinson BLM District con- 
cluded that more archaeological information and a 
mitigation plan would be necessary before a decision 
about mining two sections of federal coal in the Dunn 
Center logical mining units could be made. The Keeper 
of the National Register of Historic Places determined 
that a district including these sections is eligible for the 
National Register. That determination made the sites, 
and an appropriate buffer around them, potentially 
unsuitable for mining; however, such unsuitability 
could be excepted if it could be demonstrated that 
adverse impacts to cultural resources could be mit- 
igated. The possibility of that mitigation has not been 
demonstrated, so a final decision about mining cannot 
be made. 

The Dickinson District decision does not prevent 
the leasing of the two sections. Mitigation, if possible, is 
designed by a potential developer after the federal coal 
has been leased. If leasing does not take place then the 
developer is denied the option of possible mitigation, 
thereby losing the possibility to fully recover the coal. 
Therefore, a decision to lease while holding the deci- 
sion about mitigation for future review allows for the 
development of mine plans and the protection of 
archaeological resources. 

The two sections (Sections 32 and 34, T145N, 
R93 W) where unsuitability criteria application is a prob- 
lem have been taken under review by the Director, 
Bureau of Land Management. That review must be 
completed prior to any leasing decision for the Dunn 
Center tract. 

Plans for cultural resources must be approved 
while the lessee is planning for the development of the 
Dunn Center LMU. This includes approval by the State 
Historic Preservation Officer and the Office of Surface 
Mining. To insure that the cultural resource work is 
acceptable, early and continuous contact with respon- 
sible agencies is advised. 



RESPONSE 221. North Dakota no longer permits 
disposal of waste materials in open mine pits. The 
correction has been made. See the Modifications and 
Corrections section, Introduction and Chapter 3, Water. 

RESPONSE 222. The correction has been made. 
See in the Modifications and Corrections Section, 
Introduction. 

RESPONSE 223. See response 116 concerning 
alluvial valley floors. 

RESPONSE 224. A Memorandum of Understand- 
ing to outline procedures to be used in the future of the 
Knife River Flint Quarries would serve a number of 
interests. It would provide the ground work for the 
development of information from the sites, and it would 
provide the developer with a plan to follow during plan- 
ning and mining. 

RESPONSE 225. On pages 85, 1 05, and 1 06 of the 
Draff EIS the reference to irrigated land is to land along 
Spring Creek and does not refer to any area within the 
tract. The reference to 31 1 irrigated acres on page 89 
includes four individual water permits. One is for an 
area along Spring Creek. This conditional permit was 
perfected in January, 1 982. This area, however, has 
been deleted from the tract. Another permit in T144N, 
R94W, Sec.2 has been forfeited since the record was 
last checked. A third permit in T145N, R93W, Sec. 32 is 
a conditional water permit with no usage reported as 
yet. The fourth permit in T144N, R93W, Sec. 7 is a 
perfected permit and has reportedly been used for the 
last ten years. For the purposes of this Draft EIS, condi- 
tional and perfected permits are lumped together 
because they both mean that the individual has the 
legal right to divert water. The Modifications and Cor- 
rections section, Chapter 2, Agriculture changes the 
31 1 acres to 200 acres of irrigated land in the Dunn 
Center tract. All water permit data was received from 
the North Dakota State Water Commission. 

RESPONSE 226. The information that Nokota's 
coal-to-methanol project would produce no wastes 
classified as hazardous by EPA has been made. See the 
Modifications and Corrections section, Chapter 3, 
Water. 

RESPONSE 227. The elimination of high walls in 
accordance with applicable laws has been made. See 
the Modifications and Corrections section, Chapter 3, 
Wildlife. 

RESPONSE 228. The statement in the summary on 
page 127 of the Draft EIS refers only to short-term 
habitat destruction which assumes that reclamation of 
woody draws would be successful. See the Modifica- 
tions and Corrections section, Chapter 3, Wildlife. 



3-20 



RESPONSE 229. The PSD Class II particulate 
increments shown in Table 2-3 are correct as listed 
according to the North Dakota State Department of 
Health (M. Schock, telephone, Nov. 16, 1982). 

RESPONSE 230. It is true that the air quality impact 
analysis was based on worst-case scenarios, as pointed 
out in the Air Quality Supplement (pages S-l 1, ST 2, 
S-14, S-l 5, S-l 6, S-22, and others). Worst-case scena- 
rios were employed to evaluate the worst impacts which 
could occur. 



RESPONSE 231. 

unsuitability. 



See response 205 concerning 



RESPONSE 232. The purpose of the Draft EIS is to 
look at the consequences of leasing and development 
of federal reserves in compliance with the federal coal 
management regulations and NEPA. The RCT decided 
that an evaluation of the impacts of a typical conversion 
facility near the mine was necessary. Although these 
facilities were included, it was recognized that approval 
of these facilities was not a part of the action required to 
be covered and that the facilities would be subject to 
separate analyses and approval by the permitting 
agencies. The selection of the type of facility for each 
tract was based on expressions of interest from indus- 
try. Using the expressions and other information, it was 
assumed specific types of facilities would be associated 
with each tract. Although industry has indicated its 
interest in Ft. Union coal, many companies have not 
developed plans for facilities. 

RESPONSE 233. The Redwater alternative of the 
Meridian Exchange was developed as a result of public 
meetings. This alternative was not available for analysis 
in the Draft EIS and has been analyzed in the Meridian 
Environmental Assessment available from the Miles 
City BLM District Office. 

RESPONSE 234. The "usable storage" in Fort Peck 
Reservoir is the total amount in the reservoir that could 
be usable for all sources. Pages 104-105 of the Draft 
EIS addresses the specifics of what is available for other 
uses, including those of the State of Montana and the 
Fort Peck Indian tribe. 

RESPONSE 235. See response 200 concerning 
abandonment. As mentioned in the Draft EIS on page 
136, Montana communities show deficits because 
there is no way to predict how much state coal sever- 
ance tax revenues would be apportioned to the com- 
munities since this process is based solely on applica- 
tions for grants. Consequently, the net fiscal balances 
do not reflect severance tax flows to communities. 

Further analysis of the GSGS engineering reports 
prepared for each of the Montana tracts shows that 
$160,400,000 would be generated annually from sev- 
erance taxes (as shown below) if all Montana tracts were 



leased as assumed. Applying the 8.75 percent rate to 
determine the amount available for local impact assist- 
ance through Coal Board grants, it is estimated that 
approximately $12,000,000 would be available annu- 
ally from these Montana tracts for that purpose. 

Total Montana Severance Tax 

Bloomfield — $16.8 million/yr. 

Circle I — $9.7 million/yr. 

Circle II — $1 1.0 million/yr. 

Circle III — $23.4 million/yr. 

North Wibaux-Beach — $16.6 million/yr. 

Redwater I — $16.8 million/yr. 

Redwater II — $8.6 million/yr. 

South Wibaux-Beach — $16.8 million/yr. 

Glendive — $16.8 million/yr. 

NOTE: Circle tracts taxed at 30 percent severance rate; 
all others at 20 percent. 



RESPONSE 236. 

systems. 



See response 18 concerning well 



RESPONSE 237. See response 62 concerning agri- 
cultural impacts. 

RESPONSE 238. The correction for the referencing 
of the Montana Major Facility Act has been made. See 
the Modifications and Corrections section, Chapter 3, 
Other Land Uses and Values. 

RESPONSE 239. A discussion of the Montana Major 
Facility Siting Act was inadvertantly left out. The correc- 
tion has been made. See the Modifications and Correc- 
tions section, Appendix I. 

RESPONSE 240. The changes have been made. 
See the Modifications and Correction Section, Appen- 
dix I, Page A-31 , column 2, after the last paragraph. 

RESPONSE 241. The Ft. Union Draft EIS could 
have included an expanded list of laws, however, the 
intent was to include those that are central to this pro- 
ject. If a specific law or regulation was not listed, that 
does not mean it is was not consulted. See response 
108 concerning EIS preparation. 

The level of detail in the Regional Draft EIS is not 
sufficient for coal development on any specific site. It is 
not the intent of this document to supply that level of 
detail. The BLM analysis, done in consultation with the 
State Historic Preservation Officer, primarily identified 
the level of impacts and made preliminary recommen- 
dations on whether the impacts to known cultural 
resources could be mitigated. As mine plans are devel- 
oped for specific areas, more information would be 
required. Questions about the importance of specific 
sites, details of mitigation, and overall planning for the 
protection of cultural resources would be addressed in 
the mine plans. 



3-21 



RESPONSE 242. The Montana Department of Fish, 
Wildlife and Parks and the North Dakota Game and 
Fish Department were contacted in preparation of the 
Draft EIS. The agencies concluded, as discussed on 
pages 125 and 126 of the Draft EIS and in the site- 
specific analyses, there could be significant impacts to 
fisheries by taking water from the shallow bays of Fort 
Peck Reservoir and Lake Sakakawea. Measures to mit- 
igate these impacts are also discussed. Other impacts 
were identified but were not considered to be signifi- 
cant. This included in-stream flow reductions. 

RESPONSE 243. The correction has been made. 
See the Modifications and Corrections Section, Intro- 
duction. 



the Powder River region. Generally, the overburden of 
the Ft. Union region is of finer texture and more com- 
plexly interbedded than in the Powder River region. This 
would make AVF restoration plans and operations 
more complicated in the Ft. Gnion region. Also Ft. 
Gnion coal is lignite five to twenty feet thick compared 
to Powder River subbituminous coal which is eighty feet 
thick (at the South Fork of Spring Creek). These factors 
create an unfavorable economic outlook for trying to 
recover lignite beneath alluvial valley floors in the Ft. 
Gnion region. Industry operating in the Ft. Gnion region 
generally considers AVFs as avoidance areas which are 
not feasible to mine. No companies in the region have 
indicated an interest in mining in AVFs under current 
law. 



RESPONSE 244. The corrections have been made. 
See the Modifications and Corrections section, Appen- 
dix B. 

RESPONSE 245. It is understood that a commit- 
ment to a joint state-federal lease sale in June 1983 has 
not been made. However, in the early stages of the Ft. 
Gnion Project there were discussions that it would be 
desirable to hold joint lease sales if the mechanics of 
the two leasing processes could mesh. It was decided 
that, prior to the sale, a final determination would be 
made by the states regarding the feasibility of a joint 
sale. 

RESPONSE 246. It could be possible that draw- 
downs could extend beyond "about a mile." This 
impact would be variable because it would depend 
upon the local aguifer's porosity, permeability, and 
thickness. In his investigations at three mine sites in the 
Ft. Gnion region, Groenewold ( 1 979) reached the con- 
clusion that this impact would extend a mile or a mile- 
and-a-half from an open pit. The terminology "about a 
mile" should be interpreted as an approximation of the 
distance of the impact. 

Geologic and hydrologic data has been collected 
in the area of four North Dakota tracts and for most of 
the production maintenance tracts. This data shows 
there are numerous thick beds of fine-grained materials 
underlying the shallow mineable lignites. These geo- 
logic units do not prevent leakage but limit it to such a 
small amount that it would be insignificant. These gen- 
eral conclusions were applied to the other tracts that are 
in the same geologic setting but have no site-specific 
data. 

RESPONSE 247. See response 100 concerning 
hazardous wastes. 

RESPONSE 248. When considering the practicality 
of restoring alluvial valley floors (AVF) one must con- 
sider both technical feasibility and economic feasibility. 
The hydrogeology and mining economic conditions in 
the Ft. Gnion region are considerably different than in 



RESPONSE 249. All direct impacts of mining and 
coal conversion facilities on the guality and guantity of 
the hydrologic system are addressed in the water sec- 
tion of Chapters 2 and 3. Water resources also play a 
vital role in the discussions of most of the other issues in 
this statement. There are a number of ways to format a 
document such as the Ft. Gnion Draft EIS. Each 
method has advantages and disadvantages for the 
reader. Numerous discussions occurred within the 
agency about this guestion prior to writing the docu- 
ment. Regulations implementing the National Envi- 
ronment Policy Act recommend a standard format for 
environmental impact statements unless the agency 
determines there is a compelling reason to do other- 
wise. Since the project manager and the authors could 
not develop a format that was clearly better for the 
reader, the recommended format was used. 

RESPONSE 250. See response 31 concerning the 
purpose of the Draft EIS and the need to lease federal 
coal. 

RESPONSE 25 1 . The following graphics show fore- 
casted population and fiscal impacts for McCone 
County through the year 2000 for Alternatives 3, 5, and 
6. These 3 alternatives contain the projects which 
would most significantly affect McCone County. 
Response 235 shows the annual amount of severance 
tax monies that would be available for local impact 
mitigation. 

RESPONSE 252. The comment raises a valid con- 
cern of the Fort Berthold Reservation Tribes. One of the 
purposes of the Draft EIS was to bring out potential 
impacts of the project so that such concerns could be 
identified. 

RESPONSE 253. The Ft. Gnion EIS is a regional 
document and does not analyze site specific projects. 
The information provided in the document for mines 
and facilities is generic and based upon typical facilities. 
The information presented in this analysis therefore 
cannot provide the specific information suggested by 



3-22 



GRAPHICS FOR RESPONSE 251 



POPULATION FORECASTS FOR 
MCCONE COCINTY 



FISCAL BALANCE FOR 
MCCONE COCJNTY 





3342 




POPULATION FORECASTS FOR MCCONE 
ALTERNATIVE 3 




p 


3242 


. 


i"ox different io] * 






p 


3142 








u 

L 
A 
1 


3042 

294 2 




X±±Tl.\ [ 1 ] 











N 


2642 
2742 
2S42 
2542 
2442 
2342 








IS 


32 


1990 2022 




Yeoi > 


Bosel me POPULAT ION 








POPULATION Projeciion for MCCONE 


1 



FISCAL BALANCE(«000> 
ALTERNATIVE « 3 






4122 v 








4222 




POPULATION FORECASTS FOR HCCONE 






3922 




ALTERNATIVE 5 




P 


3820 




mox di f f eren i . ol * 







3722 








p 


3622 










^ 


3520 










'- 


3422 












T 


3320 
3222 


















N 


3122 
3222 
2922 




j'xA.A i... 


















2822 










2722 










2622 










2500 










2420 










2320 










2220 










2120 








19 


30 


1992 


2222 




Yeoi > 


Bosel me POPULATION 








POPULATION Projeciion 


for MCCONE 



FISCAL BALANCE l«O0Ol 
ALTERNATIVE ■ 5 










POPULATION FORECASTS FOR MCCONE 




p 




14222 
1 3222 




ALTERNATIVE 6 




p 


12222 




mo* different iol * 






1 1220 








A 


10020 












T 


9020 ' 


















C 


8000 






















N 


7222 | 
























6202 j 


/ 
























5200 ! 


/ 
























4222 


J 
























3202 
2200 




___^a.- 




























1222 



















19 


30 


1992 2200 




Yeoi > 


Bosel me POPULATION 

POPULATION Projeciion for MCCONE 





FISCAL BALANCEltOOOl 
ALTERNATIVE » 6 



3-23 



the comment. Site-specific information can only be 
developed when definite information on projects is pro- 
vided at permitting stages as was the case with the 
Antelope Valley and Coal Creek stations. 

RESPONSE 254. The corrections have been made. 
See the Modifications and Corrections Section, Chap- 
ter 1. 

RESPONSE 255. The corrections have been made. 
See the Modifications and Corrections section, Chapter 
1. 

RESPONSE 256. The corrections have been made. 
See the Modifications and Corrections section, Chapter 
1. 

RESPONSE 257. The corrections have been made. 
See the Modifications and Corrections section, Chapter 
1. 

RESPONSE 258. The cultural resource in question 
is a stone circle (tipi ring). The change has been made. 
See the Modifications and Corrections section, Chapter 
2, Cultural Features. 

RESPONSE 259. See response 29 concerning 
wetland reclamation. 

RESPONSE 260. The comment, referring to Table 
2-2 of the Air Quality Supplement, is correct and the 
change has been made. See the Modifications and 
Corrections section. Air Quality, Chapter 2. 

RESPONSE 26 1 . Estimates of potential Indian water 
usage have been made by the State of Montana and 
Bureau of Reclamation investigations and are used in 
this Draft EIS. Tribes from the Fort Peck and Fort 
Berthold reservations have received copies of the Draft 
EIS and have commented on the document (see 
comments 252 and 253). The concerns expressed in 
these comments were directed toward air quality with 
no specific concerns related to water. 

RESPONSE 262. The comment is correct. Fort 
Peck has been considered as a class I PSD area as 
indicated on page S-23, Table S-5, and page S-27, 
column one, paragraph five of the Air Quality Supple- 
ment. 

RESPONSE 263. Analysis of population forecasts 
indicate only a marginal impact to the community of 
Wolf Point and insignificant impacts to all other com- 
munities north of the Missouri River and Fort Peck 
Reservoir. 



RESPONSE 264. 

Meridian facilities. 



See response 82 concerning the 



RESPONSE 265. See response 83 concerning the 
leasing target and the preferred alternative. 

RESPONSE 266. The regulations implementing the 
National Environmental Policy Act state that an envi- 
ronmental statement should discuss adverse environ- 
mental impacts, and the relationship between short- 
term uses of the human environment and the 
maintenance and enhancement of long-term produc- 
tivity. 

In the Draft EIS, reclamation-related agricultural 
impacts are considered short term. Agricultural eco- 
nomic impacts were discussed from the short-term and 
long-term aspects, especially regarding how individual 
farm and ranch operations and the operator and his or 
her family would be affected. Operators who lease land 
within the coal tracts would be impacted in the long 
term, as discussed in the Draft EIS and the site-specific 
agricultural economic tract reports. Some operations 
could be forced out of business. 

The statement in the summary has been changed. 
See the Modifications and Corrections Section, sum- 
mary. Short and long term impacts have been added. 
See the Modifications and Corrections section, Chapter 
3. 

The wildlife section of the Draft EIS identifies the 
impacts that would occur during mining and discusses 
possible mitigating measures. Please refer to page 1 23, 
second column, last three paragraphs; page 1 24, para- 
graphs two, three, four and six; and page 1 25, para- 
graphs three, six, seven and eight. 

RESPONSE 267. As discussed in the Draft EIS, 
there are many variables that influence net impacts. 
Pages 123, 124, and 125 provide discussions of the 
magnitude of impacts and items that would affect the 
severity of these impacts. Mining plans and detailed 
plans for facility development are not available so it is 
not known whether mitigating measures can be devel- 
oped for a particular situation. However, these ques- 
tions would be answered prior to issuance of mining, 
construction, and operating permits. 

RESPONSE 268. The Comparison of Alternatives 
could have been located at the end of Chapter 3 as 
suggested. Regulations call for presenting the envi- 
ronmental impacts of the proposal and the alternatives 
in comparative form to provide a clear definition of the 
issues and provide the basis for choice among options. 
The Comparison of Alternatives section provides this 
information and thus is required to be included in the 
alternatives portion of the document. 

RESPONSE 269. The additional, detailed informa- 
tion pertaining to air quality impacts of the preferred 
Alternative 3 are given in a separate, more detailed Air 
Quality Technical Report, copies of which have been 
provided to the commentor. 



3-24 



RESPONSE 270. In order to comply with regula- 
tions concerning "worst-case" analyses, compensation 
values were used for analysis purposes because defini- 
tive data was not available. Compensations were not 
factored into the budget models for typical farm and 
ranch operations since compensation is provided only 
for landowners and not for operators who lease land 
within the coal tracts. Since net gains could not be 
analyzed for all farm and ranch operations, the issue 
was not addressed in the Draft EIS. 

RESPONSE 271. Thank you. The mitigation des- 
cribed in the EIS was limited to that which is legally 
enforceable under existing laws/ regulations. 

The concept of company towns is certainly a viable 
means of accommodating a large population increase 
in an area which could otherwise experience problems. 
It is clear that a company town designed to accommo- 
date the entire construction/operations workforce for a 
project would minimize, if not eliminate, the adverse 
economic/social impacts to other local, established 
communities, however, it would be inappropriate in a 
federal EIS to consider this as a viable, predictable, or 
enforceable means of impact mitigation. 

The amount of Montana coal severance tax 
revenues available annually from each of the Montana 
tracts is discussed in response 235. 

RESPONSE 272. The draft document is complex 
and the figures, tables, and maps were developed to 
present this information in graphic form where possi- 
ble. These graphics do not tell the story in and of 
themselves. It is true that this information does not 
show the Meridian exchange by itself nor does it show 
what part of Alternative 3 is composed of the Meridian 
exchange, however, neither were the discussions of 
each alternative designed to show what part of the 
alternative is composed by each tract. This information 
shows one full-sized synfuel plant or two full-sized power 
plants. The graphics do not show the information just 
for the initial plant as provided by Meridian which is 
discussed in the text. The impact statement was not 
designed to address the impacts of the Meridian 
exchange. A site-specific environmental analysis for the 
exchange has been published by the Miles City BLM 
District Office. The Ft. Union EIS addresses only the 
regional implication of the exchange as related to 
Alternative 3. The information contained in the draft 
does not reflect the most recent information provided 
by Meridian which is covered in the site-specific envi- 
ronmental assessment. 

RESPONSE 273. The Draft EIS identifies on a 
regional level the impacts to groundwater that are likely 
to occur as a result of development. A site-specific 
analysis is also available for each tract. The Draft EIS 
does not state you may never be assured of the original 
quality or quantity of water that you had before devel- 
opment. State and federal law requires that water sour- 



ces that are degraded in quality or quantity as a result of 
mining must be replaced with a source of equal or 
better quality and quantity. The Draft EIS finds such 
replacement water supplies are available. 

RESPONSE 274. See responses 19 and 67 con- 
cerning sulfur dioxide pollution. 

RESPONSE 275. Probable changes in community 
social organization and social well being are discussed 
in the impact section for each alternative. These 
changes are predicted to be quite significant under 
some alternatives. 

RESPONSE 276. The fiscal balance figures shown 
in the Draft EIS are calculated by comparing forecasted 
revenues with forecasted costs to arrive at a net esti- 
mate. Revenue items at the local level include property 
taxes, education transfers, excise tax transfers, federal 
revenue sharing transfers, and user fees. Costs include 
capital investments on streets, maintenance on streets, 
water distribution and treatment, waste water systems 
and treatment, solid waste disposal, operational and 
capital expenditures for law enforcement, fire protec- 
tion, and other local government functions. See also 
response 251 concerning county budgets and popula- 
tion increases. 

RESPONSE 277. See the Modifications and Correc- 
tions section, Air Quality, Chapter 3. 

RESPONSE 278. See response 22 concerning the 
development of the air quality study. 

RESPONSE 279. See the Modifications and Correc- 
tions section, Air Quality, Chapter 2. 

RESPONSE 280. Compositing of STAR data is an 
approximation commonly used in modeling and is 
considered valid for points within a single air basin. 

The CDMQC model is the best available model for 
regional modeling of annual average pollutant concen- 
trations. It will generally yield conservative results. 

RESPONSE 28 1 . See the Modifications and Correc- 
tions section, Appendix F. 

The comment regarding Colstrip Units 3 and 4 is 
correct; the information was erroneously and uninten- 
tionally omitted from the 1997 emissions inventory. 
Although it should have been included, it is believed 
that the omission did not result in significantly errone- 
ous results or conclusions. This is due to the fact that 
the modeling results indicated no significant cumula- 
tive interaction of emissions from Colstrip Units 1 and 2 
with emissions from project sources under the meteo- 
rological scenarios modeled. See Figure 3-8, page S- 
26, of the Air Quality Supplement which shows a small, 
localized sulfur dioxide contour in the Colstrip area 
widely separated from project source concentrations. 



3-25 



RESPONSE 282. See response 27 concerning 
background pollution concentrations. 

RESPONSE 283. Assumptions and methodology 
employed in estimating project emissions are des- 
cribed briefly in the Draft EIS on page 41 and in more 
detail in the Site Specific Analyses and associated Air 
Quality Technical Report (BLM, 1981). 

RESPONSE 284. The Draft EIS discusses the 
increase in visitor use at Fort Peck Reservoir as a result 
of Alternatives 2 through 6. Many individuals, including 
members oftheAssiniboine and Sioux Tribes, may find 
their overall recreational experience diminished by 
more people, campers and boats. This problem could 
be mitigated by building one or more new recreational 
facilities to provide alternative areas. 

The comment regarding air quality is in agree- 
ment with the Air Quality Supplement, pages S-23 and 
S-27. 

Please refer to the discussion of wetlands and 
wildlife habitat on page 1 23 of the Draft EIS. 

See response 263 regarding population forecasts 
for Wolf Point. 



beyond the scope and capability of the Air Quality 
Supplement. Research on the effects of organic com- 
pound emissions is being conducted by EPA, and 
results are not yet available. See also Response 1 08. 

RESPONSE 290. The statement in the Air Quality 
Supplement about the possibility of acid rain eventually 
consuming the buffering capacity of local soil is pre- 
ceded by the phrase "if the mean pH values as mea- 
sured by the Department of Health are indicative of a 
trend toward increasing acidity". Such a trend is not 
established at this time. See comments by the North 
Dakota State Department of Health pages 2-6 through 
2-9 and response 28. Response 289 also applies to this 
subject. 



RESPONSE 291. 

cerning air quality. 



See responses 84 and 289 con- 



RESPONSE 292. See responses 269 and 289 con- 
cerning air quality. In addition, a copy of the detailed Air 
Quality Technical Report showing modeled isopleth 
maps for all alternatives and all major pollutants was 
furnished to the Fort Peck Tribes. 



RESPONSE 285. The comment is generally correct 
and in agreement with the limitations of the air quality 
study ( BLM, 1 982 b) described on pages S- 1 5 and S- 1 6 
of the Air Quality Supplement. The reasons for focus- 
ing on the Theodore Roosevelt National Park for worst- 
case air quality impact analysis are valid and provide a 
reasonable scenario for the analysis. This also brought 
out impacts throughout the Ft. Union Region. Meteoro- 
logical data for the year 1964 are considered to be 
typical and are widely used in air quality analyses by 
many organizations. 

RESPONSE 286. The document does not state that 
the air quality modeling results contain an error of a 
factor of two, but the results are considered accurate 
within a factor of two. To attempt to show the margins 
of error on the isopleth maps would provide some 
additional information at the expense of clarity and 
understandability of the already complex plots. See also 
the Modifications and Corrections section, Air Quality, 
Chapter 3. 

RESPONSE 287. See response 286 concerning air 
quality modeling results. 

RESPONSE 288. See response 285 concerning air 
quality. 

RESPONSE 289. The air quality analysis focused on 
evaluation of alternatives relative to established air qual- 
ity standards because the standards have been estab- 
lished to set limits within which effects have been found 
to be insignificant. An exhaustive analysis of all poten- 
tial effects of the predicted levels of air pollution was 



RESPONSE 293. The rationale and constraints for 
focusing the air quality analysis on worst-case impacts 
are acknowledged and discussed in the Air Quality 
Supplement on pages S-l 1, S-15, and ST 6. The aver- 
age or "normal" pollution levels which would result 
from the project alternatives are substantially below the 
worst-case levels and are best represented by the 
annual average pollutant concentrations described on 
page S-22. See also responses 67 and 289 concerning 
air quality. 

RESPONSE 294. The only significant air pollutants 
which would be emitted during the peak construction 
period would be vehicle-related exhaust emissions and 
dust from unpaved roads. While these emissions would 
be somewhat greater during peak construction than 
during later operation, the level of pollution will be small 
relative to the total level during operation. 

RESPONSE 295. The Air Quality Supplement 
shows the type and extent of violations of air quality 
standards which could occur if the coal leasing project 
were to be implemented. The results give the region a 
basis for planning implementation and mitigation 
measures to meet regulatory requirements. Minimal 
leasing is one way to minimize air pollution, but other 
means are also possible and can be evaluated in detail 
in connection with each specific project and site which 
may be proposed. See the Modifications and Correc- 
tions section, Air Quality, Chapter 3. 

RESPONSE 296. See the Modifications and Correc- 
tions section, Air Quality, Chapter 3. 



3-26 



RESPONSE 297. See the Modifications and Correc- 
tions section, Air Quality, Chapter 3. 

RESPONSE 298. The visibility modeling study, like 
the pollutant dispersion modeling study, was per- 
formed with the objective of investigating only worst- 
case impacts. This was mainly because neither time 
nor funding was available to do more detailed studies 
and also because worst-case impacts are the critical 
parameters which determine legal or practical limita- 
tions of a project. For the latter reason, worst-case 
impacts are the most important to bring out in an EIS. 
Detailed impact evaluation is done at a later stage of 
project evaluation such as a PSD new source review. 

The terms "adverse" and "baseline" in the study 
were used with the meanings customary in EIS anal- 
yses. Because of their more closely defined meanings 
in the current Clean Air Act, and to avoid possible 
misunderstanding, the term "adverse" is hereby 
deleted wherever used in Chapter 3 of the document; 
the term "baseline" is retained wherever it is used in 
connection with 1 975 baseline emissions; but wherever 
it is used in connection with projected future emissions 
in 1997 (e.g., "1997 baseline emissions"), it is hereby 
replaced with the term "inventory" (e.g., "1997 emis- 
sions inventory"). 

RESPONSE 299. See the Modifications and Correc- 
tions section, Air Quality, Chapter 3 and responses 28 
and 48 concerning pH and the MESOPUFF model, 
respectively. 

RESPONSE 300. The definition of the term "integral 
vista" and explanatory statements given in the com- 
ment are correct. See the Modifications and Correc- 
tions section, Glossary. 

RESPONSE 30 1 . See pages 89-92 of the Draft EIS. 
Also see the Modifications and Corrections section, Air 
Quality, Chapter 3, and response 358 concerning a 
species list. 

RESPONSE 302. No development proposed in this 
Draft EIS would cause any change to the free-flowing, 
undeveloped, natural, or cultural characteristics of 
either river segment with the possible exception of air 
quality impacts. 

RESPONSE 303. Mitigation for the projected 
demand illustrated by Appendix J is tied to the eco- 
nomic section of the Draft EIS. In North Dakota, a 
certain percentage of the coal severance tax flows 
directly to the impacted cities and counties to use to 
construct or enlarge those facilities which are 
impacted. Although recreational facilities may not be 
considered an essential service such as water and sew- 
age disposal, it is feasible to assume that when the 
essential services are updated, monies would be 
assigned to upgrade the community recreational facili- 
ties. 



In Montana, the state delivers the money on an 
application and grant basis and it is impossible to pre- 
dict when and if the community recreational facilities 
would be expanded. If, as an example, one community 
applied for money to enlarge its sewage disposal sys- 
tem and another community applied to upgrade its 
community recreational services, it is assumed, all 
things being equal, that the sewage disposal applica- 
tion would receive the grant. It may be that individual 
community recreational facilities in Montana may have 
to wait until all communities and counties affected have 
upgraded their essential services. Again, this is impos- 
sible to predict because of Montana's application and 
grant system. 

While it is true there may be ample precedent for 
the project sponsors to provide recreational facilities as 
a mitigating measure, they have no legal responsibility 
to do so. Since different companies have varying poli- 
cies on this type of expenditure, it was impossible to 
predict how much money, if any, would be available for 
expanding recreational facilities. 

RESPONSE 304. The Draft EIS recognizes the 
importance of the Knife River Flint Quarries on p. 63, 
paragraph one, column two. The quarries offer a 
number of important research topics, including the 
relationship between the major sites now part of the 
Knife River Indian Village National Historic Site and the 
quarries. 

A major portion of the Knife River Flint Quarry area 
has been found eligible as a National Register of His- 
toric Places district through consultation with the North 
Dakota State Historic Preservation Office. This eligibility 
status insures that the quarries must be considered in 
future mining and development decisions. BLM has 
proposed that a Memorandum of Agreement be devel- 
oped (which would include the Advisory Council on 
Historic Preservation and any other parties whose 
actions would affect the quarries) to assure considera- 
tion of the overall interrelationships of the quarries with 
other archaeological problems in determining proper 
treatment of these sites. 

RESPONSE 305. See response 87 concerning 
summer fallowed land. 

RESPONSE 306. See the Modifications and Correc- 
tions section, Air Quality, Chapter 2. 

RESPONSE 307. See the Modifications and Correc- 
tions section, Air Quality, Chapter 2. 

RESPONSE 308. The meaning of the schematic 
diagram would be clearer (although not changed) by 
reversing the arrows. The expression "sufficiently 
major" refers to whether the types and quantities of 
pollutants which would be emitted by a new source fall 
within the specified requirements of the state or the 
federal Clean Air Act requiring a PSD permit. 



3-27 



RESPONSE 309. See response 283 concerning 
emissions. 

RESPONSE 310. Emissions of permitted and pend- 
ing facilities were obtained from the state air quality 
regulatory agencies. This information was employed in 
all modeling exercises. Emissions from hypothetical 
project facilities were obtained as described in 
response 283 and were employed in the same form 
(assumed to be typical design rates) in all modeling 
exercises. 

RESPONSE 311. The sentence and paragraph 
referred to are not necessarily inconsistent. Any appar- 
ent inconsistency is a reflection of the lack of present 
understanding of acid rain. 

RESPONSE 312. Emissions and air quality impacts 
from secondary stationary sources are mainly 
accounted for in the electric power and synfuel plants of 
the project. Any other secondary stationary source 
emissions would be insignificant. Dust emissions from 
increased traffic on unpaved roads may be significant 
and aggravate TSP pollution in some localities. 

RESPONSE 313. See response 31 concerning the 
purpose of the Draft E1S and the need to lease federal 
coal. 



RESPONSE 314. 

quality standards. 



See response 295 concerning air 



RESPONSE 315. See response 100 concerning 
hazardous wastes, response 99 concerning acid rain, 
response 92 concerning toxic wastes, and response 84 
concerning trace elements. 

RESPONSE 316. Impact assessments were made 
on the information that was available as explained in 
responses 64 and 67. 

RESPONSE 317. See response 140 concerning 
water quality. 

RESPONSE 318. See response 63 on off-site 
impacts, response 64 on reclamation, and response 67 
on air quality. For disturbance to roads, railroads, pipe- 
lines, and transmission lines, see page 130 of the Draft 
EIS and response 98. 

RESPONSE 3 1 9. Page A- 1 8 in the Draft EIS shows 
that Beach, North Dakota would not show a surplus 
until 1992, or approximately six years after the start of 
construction. See also response 77 concerning fiscal 
projections. 

RESPONSE 320. See responses 29, 33, 63, 64, and 
67 concerning off-site impacts. 



RESPONSE 32 1 . See response 1 08 concerning the 
IES Regulations. 

RESPONSE 322. Refer to responses 63, 67, 108 
and see the Modifications and Corrections section, 
Chapter 3, Air Quality. The draft document has pro- 
vided a "worst case" situation in terms of the analysis of 
the development of the tracts. As a part of the total 
program, special studies were made for social and 
economic conditions for both site-specific and regional 
assessments. Also, a special study was made on 
impacts on various sizes of farm/ ranch operations. All 
studies were completed within time and budgetary 
constraints. 

RESPONSE 323. See response 31 concerning the 
purpose of the Draft EIS and the need to lease federal 
coal. 

RESPONSE 324. See response 31 concerning the 
purpose of the Draft EIS and the need to lease federal 
coal. 

RESPONSE 325. Consultation and cooperation 
with state governments is an important part of the coal 
leasing program. The RCT established closer consulta- 
tion and cooperation efforts; however, the decisions by 
the Secretary of the Interior are based upon more than 
just consultation with state governments. The decisions 
are based upon the potential economic, social, and 
environmental effects of coal leasing; expressions of 
interest by industry for development and demand for 
coal reserves; expected production from existing fed- 
eral coal leases and non-federal coal holdings; the level 
of competition within the region; the U.S. coal produc- 
tion goals; projections of future demand for federal 
coal; consideration of national energy needs; and any 
other pertinent factors. 

RESPONSE 326. See response 205 concerning 
unsuitability. 

RESPONSE 327. See responses 92 and 289 con- 
cerning toxic wastes and air pollution, respectively. 

RESPONSE 328. See response 98 on transmission 
lines and rights-of-way, response 92 on toxic wastes and 
acid rain and response 67 on metabolic selenium defi- 
ciency. 

The air quality modeling study was extensive but 
was limited by various constraints referred to on pages 
ST 5 and ST 6 of the Air Quality Supplement. These 
constraints limited the modeling scenarios to 48 hours. 
While it is possible that pollutant concentrations could 
reach slightly higher levels during a longer episode, it is 
not expected that such higher concentrations would be 
markedly higher, and such episodes would be infre- 
quent. 



3-28 



It is extremely unlikely that concentrations of sul- 
furic and nitric acid aerosols would ever reach such a 
high level as to directly affect human health. See com- 
ment and response 54 regarding additional recent 
research by the North Dakota State Department of 
Health on the long-term effects of trace elements on soil 
and water quality. The modeling study, as stated on 
page S-36, does not point to significant production of 
acidic rain in the Ft. Union coal region. Significant 
refers to a degree which would result in harmful effects. 

RESPONSE 329. It is not known when the EPA 
research on organic emissions of synfuel plants will be 
completed. No further EIS studies are planned before 
coal is leased, but each proposed conversion facility 
utilizing leased coal will require complete environmen- 
tal impact analysis and mitigation. See also response 
1 00 concerning wastes. 

RESPONSE 330. See response 54 concerning toxic 
emissions. 

RESPONSE 331. The analysis of impacts of 
radioactive elements in the West Central North Dakota 
Regional study cited in the Ft. Union Draft EIS was not 
limited to a one-year period. That limitation (subse- 
quently extended) applied to effects of other trace ele- 
ments. 

RESPONSE 332. The quotation cited in the com- 
ment implying that the North Dakota State Department 
of Health found "the buffering capacity [of water] will 
eventually be consumed ..." was quoted out of context, 
and no such finding has been reported by the NDSDH. 
See also response 28 concerning pH values. 

RESPONSE 333. Future industries would be con- 
strained, case by case, to limit emissions to levels that 
won't violate air quality standards. See also response 
294. The limitations of the modeling studies described 
on pages S-l 5 and S-16 of the Air Quality Supplement 
were identified in order to define clearly the scope of the 
studies. However, it should not be so interpreted that 
substantive or justifiable conclusions were precluded. 
Some of the limitations were related to unavoidable 
limitations of data, some were related to limitations of 
modeling science, some were related to appropriate- 
ness for purposes of the Draft EIS, and some were 
related to time and cost constraints. 

RESPONSE 334. Groenewold (1980) has moni- 
tored post-mining spoils at three sites in North Dakota 
and has observed the water levels returning to pre- 
mining condition. See also responses 18, 92, 140 and 
246 concerning water quality. 

RESPONSE 335. See response 64 concerning rec- 
lamation, response 87 regarding provisions of the Sur- 



face Mining Control and Reclamation Act, and 
response 206 concerning post-mining land use. 

RESPONSE 336. See response 29 on wetlands and 
response 64 on reclamation. 

RESPONSE 337. See response 29 on wetlands and 
response 64 on reclamation. 

RESPONSE 338. See responses 62, 86, 9 1 , and 322 
with respect to regional and individual operator agricul- 
tural economic impacts, and responses 67 and 63 for 
off-site impacts. 

RESPONSE 339. See responses 1 1 , 1 88, and 253. 
The utility of the tables was accurately portrayed in the 
document, but traffic flows were intentionally over- 
estimated and only peak hours were considered. The 
questions concerning tax increases, raising tax monies, 
and accident rates cannot be projected specifically in a 
regional EIS. Given the generic nature and the assump- 
tions made for the EIS, these specific questions cannot 
be accurately analyzed. Many options to address these 
concerns are open to planners and politicians at the 
state and local level. 

RESPONSE 340. The phased-development assump- 
tion was based on information supplied to us by indus- 
try. The gravity model sub-module used in the popula- 
tion forecasts uses a "community attractiveness index" 
which reflects exactly the items mentioned in the 
comment. 

Expenditures (e.g., county schools and roads) and 
revenues which are county- related were not shown in 
the community fiscal impact graphics. The table in 
response 235 shows the total amount of severance tax 
monies available annually (8.75%) for local impact mit- 
igation purposes from each tract in Montana during full 
production. 

RESPONSE 341. The incidence of crime would 
increase with a population influx. However, it is not clear 
that the rate of crime invariably increases. In cases 
where rapid growth has occurred, a change may take 
place in crime reporting. Problems that were previously 
treated informally may now come to the attention of law 
enforcement officials. This makes "before and after" 
statistical comparisons unreliable. A report from the 
Montana Department of Justice to be published in early 
1 983 will address the issue of crime increases in rapidly 
growing communities. 

RESPONSE 342. See response 200 concerning 
economic impacts of abandonment. 

RESPONSE 343. Correction has been made in the 
Modifications and Corrections Section, Introduction. 



3-29 



RESPONSE 344. The amount of federal coal in 
Alternative 3 is covered in Table 1-6 as 827.2 million 
tons. 

On page 72 of the Draft E1S is a modification of 
Alternative 3 which became the Regional Coal Team 
preferred alternative. This modification resulted in 
832.8 million tons proposed for leasing. See the Modi- 
fications and Corrections section, Chapter 1 for correc- 
tions to tonnages of all alternatives. 

RESPONSE 345. The total area to be disturbed for 
Alternative 3 is 204,813 acres as shown in Table T6. 
The figure of 238,225 acres shown on page 1 13 of the 
Draft EIS shows the total acreage of the tracts within the 
alternative and Tables 3-9 and 3-10 break this total 
acreage down into classifications of suitable plant 
growth material and the types of vegetation found 
within the tracts. Figure 1-12 on page 67 shows the 
acreage of different vegetation types within the tracts 
that could likely be impacted. The title of Figure 1-12 
should be "Vegetation Types (Acres)." This change has 
been made. See the Modifications and Corrections sec- 
tion, Chapter 1 . This section also changes the acreage 
figures for the alternatives. 

RESPONSE 346. The employment figures dis- 
cussed in the narrative of the Draft EIS are for primary 
employment only. The effects of secondary employ- 
ment are reflected in the population graphics shown in 
Appendix G. 

RESPONSE 347. The air quality analysis evaluated 
impacts in terms of both Class I and Class II PSD 
standards, and included consideration of the Fort Peck 
Reservation's application for Class I status. See pages 
S-23 and S-27 of the Air Quality Supplement. 

The comment is correct. Adequate measures to 
meet Class I air quality standards would have to be 
incorporated into the design of the plant. 

RESPONSE 348. Meteorological data from Glas- 
gow, Montana, near the Fort Peck Reservation were 
also utilized in the modeling studies. This was weighted 
most heavily in evaluating dispersion in the Fort Peck 
Reservation area. 

RESPONSE 349. The Surface Mining Control and 
Reclamation Act of 1977 was discussed on page 4 of 
the introduction of the Draft EIS as one of the major 
authorities for the leasing of federal coal. Appendix A is 
a list of all the acts and laws which may have a bearing 
on the leasing, development and reclamation of coal 
but, were not specifically discussed in the text. 

RESPONSE 350. There are four aquifer zones in the 
Ft. Union region that would yield fresh water to wells. 
The lower two are regionally extensive. The upper of 
these two as shown on page 88 of the Draft EIS are in 
the Ft. Gnion formation. They consist of silt and clay 



interbedded with sandstone and lignite. The sand and 
lignite beds would yield small quantities of water to 
wells. These aquifers are locally extensive but there are 
usually several levels of occurance throughout the 
depth of these aquifer zones. More details are available 
in references listed in the reference section of the Draft 
EIS. 

RESPONSE 351. These shallow aquifer systems 
(see response 350) are sometimes confined and some- 
times unconfined. Both of these conditions may exist 
within the same tract. 

RESPONSE 352. See the Modifications and Correc- 
tions section, Chapter 2, Water. 

RESPONSE 353. See responses 350 and 351 con- 
cerning shallow aquifers. 

RESPONSE 354. See response 246 concerning 
drawdowns. See also page R-2 of the Draft EIS for 
references by Groenewold. 

RESPONSE 355. See response 248 concerning 
alluvial valley floors. 

RESPONSE 356. Efforts are under way with the 
State of Montana to prepare the required stipulations 
for the lease sale. 

RESPONSE 357. A number of these items were 
discussed in the Draft EIS as mitigating measures. All 
of the items listed would be considered at either lease or 
mine-plan stage. 

RESPONSE 358. A complete species list would 
have limited value in a regional EIS, however, species 
expected to be significantly impacted were discussed in 
the draft EIS. 

RESPONSE 359. Land form and vegetative diversity 
were the most important factors considered in the 
impact analysis of habitat. Permanent losses to wildlife 
habitat in relationship to reclamation and mitigation 
potentials and probabilities are discussed in numerous 
paragraphs on pages 1 23, 1 24, and 1 26 of the Draft 
EIS. 

RESPONSE 360. Impacts to antelope were dis- 
cussed in the Site Specific Analyses and were incorpo- 
rated into the Draft EIS on pages 1 26 and 1 27. 

RESPONSE 361. No significant impacts to raptors 
from the large transmissions lines were identified. 

RESPONSE 362. See pages 124 and 125 of the 
Draft EIS. Although not specifically mentioned, disturb- 
ance from snowmobiling and four-wheel drive vehicles 
were included in these discussions. 



3-30 



RESPONSE 363. It is true that where soil lifts are 
removed and stored separately, in accordance with 
federal and state requirements, no impacts related to 
mixing of materials would be anticipated. The concern 
is raised, however, as a cautionary statement regarding 
those soils with thin topsoil which are more difficult to 
reclaim. 

The discussion is in the Affected Environment 
chapter because ongoing mining operations are a part 
of the existing situation. 

RESPONSE 364. The following summarizes cultu- 
ral resource inventory and evaluation efforts by tracts in 
the Ft. Union coal region. They are listed in the Referen- 
ces section of the Draft EIS. 



Montana 




Tract 


Report of Archaeological W 


Bloomfield 


Deaver, Sherry, N.d. 


Circle West 1 


Deaver, Sherry, N.d. 


Circle West II 


Same 


Circle West III 


Same 


Redwater 1 


Munday, Frederick C. N.d. 


Redwater II 


Munday. Frederick C. 


North Dakota 




North Wibaux-Beach 


Fox, Steven, 1982 


South Wibaux-Beach 


Same 


Zenith 


Same 


Schoolhouse 


Fox R. et al., 1976 




Roberson, W., 1980 


Underwood 


Good, Kent, et al., 1978 




Good, Kent, 1981 




Dill, C.L 1975 


North Beulah 


Dill, 1978 


Renner 


Dill, 1978 


Antelope 


Dill, 1978 


Werner 


Greiser, T.W., 1981 


Dunn Center 


Greiser, T.W., 1981 




Loendorf, L.L. et al., 1976 


Truax 


Dill, 1978 


Sakakawea 


Freese, Robin et al., 1981 


Glenharold 


Ahler, S.A. et al., 1979 




Farmer, T.R. et al., 1979 




Dill, C.L, 1976 


Garrison 


Freese, Robin et al., 1981 


Center 


Dill, C.L. 1976 



RESPONSE 365. See response 1 1 on potential 
problem areas, response 1 88 on highways and 253 on 
generic mines and facilities. 

RESPONSE 366. The statement on page 8 regard- 
ing front end financing should have stated that this 
source "could solve some of the lag problem . . ." It is 
true this does not necessarily result in the solution of all 
of the problems nor does it always result in geographi- 
cally correct impact mitigation disbursements. 

RESPONSE 367. The net fiscal forecasts shown for 
Alternative 3 in Appendix H reflect a fundamental dif- 
ference between the Montana and North Dakota sever- 
ance and conversion tax disbursements to impacted 
communities. The situation in Montana is on an appli- 
cation/grant basis solely, while that for North Dakota is 
predictable, based on a number of factors regarding 
population growth. Because of the relative unpredicta- 
bility of Montana severance and conversion tax 
disbursements, this revenue source could not be fore- 
casted as part of the net fiscal balance for Montana 
communities. 

Also see response 235 for the total annual amount 
of severance tax which would be available from Ft. 
Union tracts in Montana. 

RESPONSE 368. Mr. Moore has been contacted 
and BLM is currently working with the U.S. Air Force to 
resolve their concerns. 



3-31 



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